Coffee Break: Faro City Satchel

Elliott Lucca Faro City Satchel | CorporetteI’ve always liked the brand Elliott Lucca for affordable but cute leather accessories, and this city satchel is no different. It comes in a zillion colors (Amazon has some priced as low as $72!) and looks lovely. I like this saturated orchid the best, but there are some great perforated and distressed leathers in the mix as well.  The pictured bag is $148. Elliott Luca Faro City Satchel

Here’s a lower-priced option.



  1. fitness center at work :

    Do any of you belong to gyms located inside your buildings at work? (This probably applies more to those working in bigger cities). If so, do you run into coworkers while exercising? When do you go?

    • My old job had a world class gym better than any commercial gym in the area, so working next to the VP or a hundred coworkers was pretty standard :) You get used to it quickly–everyone is so focused on their workout they don’t really notice you beyond a “hey” or “good morning”.

      I just dressed in more conservative workout attire so I wouldnt be completely taken aback if the senior director hopped on the treadmill next to me–nice black pants instead of my stained and stretched out sweatpants, for exaple

    • I’ve worked several places where people ran into each other during lunchtime workouts, either while outside running/walking or going to the same gym. Now I work out early in the morning and sometimes run into my boss at the gym. It’s not really a big deal. I’m usually too focused on my workout and getting things done in the time I have to worry about how I look. I just smile/nod/greet as appropriate and move along.

    • Yes, and Yes. Everyone’s there for the same reasons, so as a general rule it’s not a big deal running into people. Having said that, there are certain people I try to avoid meeting up with. A former boss, for example, wouldn’t take the hint that my gym time was meant to work off my daily frustrations, many of which revolved around her.

    • Anonymous :

      Formerly and yes. Agree with others that we were all there to exercise, so we mostly nodded and carried about our routine. Most awkward (although still low on the awkward scale for me) was chit-chatting with a male colleague on the pool deck on a day when I probably should have shaved my bikini line.

      I loved it. So convenient! (Also worth mentioning that it’s “formerly” because I changed jobs/locations, not because I found it awkward).

  2. May I vent? I recently signed up for an Obamacare plan after leaving my full-time job. The premium is about $250/month for a nondeductible BCBS HMO plan. I’m in my mid-20s and generally only go to the doctor for preventive medicine (and to the dermatologist like once a year). I just got a notice in the mail that my premiums for 2016 will be increasing to about $330/month and for what will be a worse plan (with a deductible).

    I keep reading in the papers how they need subscribers like me to make Obamacare actually work and how they are likely not going to reach the amount of subscribers they need. Well, after this notice today, how can anyone be surprised? I would basically have to pay$4k for 2016 to visit my primary care physician once (with ordinary lab work), my gynecologist once, my dermatologist twice (but would have to pay the deductible first for these visits so it’s not like insurance would actually end up covering much) and maybe 2-3 prescriptions.

    I get that the insurance covers for what-if situations but frankly, I could just buy the lowest level catastrophic plan (which the government does not actually really want to offer since this plan’s premiums don’t subsidize other people). Is that what these politicians/insurance companies really want? I was fine with the $250 but $330 is frankly too much for my part-time worker and student status.

    • The low cost catastrophic plan sounds appropriate for someone like you… can you switch?

      • Yes, I can definitely switch. I’m just finding it frustrating how much they increased the premiums of the better plans by. 32% is just crazy. And I really would rather the better plan but they are making it that it just doesn’t make sense anymore. I just don’t understand how they expect this to be a viable system for years and years to come if there are such huge increases in the consumers’ costs from year to year.

    • This is why I don’t understand the states. There is this hate of universal healthcare but every other first world country has it. Some portion of my taxes go to the health system, I go to the doctor whenever, there is a government cap on prescription prices and that’s it.

      • If not for my friends and family in the states, I would consider leaving!

        • Anonymous :

          It is so much more complicated than that. Just because something works in Sweden does not mean it would work in the US.

          • No this is a bad excuse. Canada has universal healthcare and while it’s not perfect, there is no reason why this model can’t be replicated for basic medical care. It’s a political thing in the US to ignore people’s human rights so that big corporations can continue to milk ridiculous profits.

          • lawsuited :

            Universal healthcare works (for the most part) in Canada, which is culturally pretty similar to the U.S.

          • Anonymous :

            Somehting like 75% of health care costs are spent in the last 20% of someone’s life in the US, or some crazy statistic like that. Are we willing to stop fighting until the end, so to speak? That’s a particularly American thing to do. Everyone freaked out about death panels when the ACA was passed, but that’s what will be needed if we really want a single health care payor. You can’t have it both ways.

            We are also, as a whole, much less healthy than Canada. We are much more diverse.

          • One of the reasons that the US is less healthy is that poor people can’t afford preventative medicine, surely?

          • lawsuited :

            Canada has the highest foreign-born population per capita of any G8 country, so I’d say it’s pretty diverse.

          • I think 3:53 means that we have more poor people.

    • Brunette Elle Woods :

      I’m in the same boat. I got laid off and went with the subsidized plan to pay “only” $230 a month instead of COBRA at $500. I needed to see a retina specialist because of some eye issues and the doctor didn’t take my insurance. I paid $250 out of pocket for that one appointment because it’s your eyes! Now I want to go to my annual gyno appointment and get routine testing, but I have to find the time to call my health insurance company and find out the cost so I don’t get a surprise bill while trying to be responsible and get tested! It is so frustrating!!

      • You brought up another point I didn’t even mention – how these “better” plans can also cover so much less than the plans of the old days (I’m thinking back to 2010, 2011).

    • Keep in mind that politicians of one party want the ACA to fail, and the insurance companies want to make money.

      On November 1, you can shop around for 2016 coverage. Find out if with the increased premium you now qualify for a subsidy. See what your other options are, including if there are any options through your school or employer. And depending on your appetite for risk, calculate what you could gain by paying the penalty, which in 2016 will be $695 or 2.5% of your income, whichever is greater.

      • The thing is, I want insurance and I do want a good plan. However, I work part-time and my income fluctuates to the point where I’m on the brink of qualifying for a subsidy. Since that’s the case, it wouldn’t make sense for me to try to get the subsidy- while I might qualify once I prep my 2016 tax returns, I’d also run the risk of not qualifying and having to pay it all back.

        • Are you penalized beyond having to pay it back if you end up not qualifying for the subsidy? If not, the smart thing to do would be to keep the subsidy money in an interest-bearing account so you have it if you need it but can use it to pay the next year’s insurance costs if not.

        • Wildkitten :

          If you’re on the brink of qualifying for a subsidy your subsidy is probably not that large, so it isn’t a huge portion of your income that are you gambling with.

    • Anonymous :

      If you rarely go to the doctor, why don’t you have a high-deductible plan with a lower premium? It seems silly to pay for a no deductible plan (which is usually much more expensive) when you have no reason to expect you’ll come close to using the deductible. I have no experience with Obamacare, but the premium for my husband and me through his work is something like $40 a month for a high deductible plan and $600 a month for a low (or maybe no) deductible plan. So there can be a huge price difference.

      I don’t think anyone argues that health insurance premiums pay for themselves, especially if you’re healthy and in your 20s. The idea isn’t that you pay less in annual premiums than you would for a couple of annual doctor’s visits without insurance; the idea is that you have the insurance is case something catastrophic happens.

      • Right, I hear that. But I’m just someone who generally just likes to have good insurance for my peace of mind. So while I technically don’t NEED a better plan, the risk taker in me hesitates to hold just a catastrophic plan. And it’s not like the price for the catastrophic insurance is so cheap either – for 2016, it would be about $150/month.

        • Anonymous :

          A high deductible plan is not “bad” insurance. It just means that you have to pay a higher amount out of pocket before your coverage kicks in. It makes economic sense for someone who anticipates very low healthcare costs.

        • Don’t forget that when you have a high deductible plan, you can also open an HSA and put some money in there. Then you get to pay the medical bills with pre-tax dollars, giving you an effective discount on top of the negotiated insurance rate. I know that you don’t have much money, but if you take the difference between what you are willing to pay each month ($250) and the actual cost and put that in the HSA that will be available for emergencies. There is a whole lot more to health insurance than just the amount of the deductible that makes a program “good.” Good for you may be different than good for other people.

      • Anon for this :

        This. Insurance is meant to cover the “what ifs” — what if I do get cancer, have a car accident, fall off a ladder… The coverage for preventative care is there because it benefits the insurance companies to cut down on the cost of the what ifs — i.e., if you are getting preventative care, the idea is that they should catch things earlier (when they are cheaper) or prevent things altogether by counseling you to quit smoking, lose weight, etc.

        I would agree that you sound like the perfect candidate for a high deductible plan. They benefit those with extraordinarily low costs (mostly preventative only) or much higher costs. In the middle, you’re taking a gamble. But it’s a defined gamble.

        • Agree completely :

          Venting – I understand your feelings. I was just like you – wanting the best insurance for peace of mind. But it really doesn’t make financial sense. You have to run the numbers, and realize that a cheaper plan with a high deductible makes sense for you. It took me a year to figure that out, but now I’m paying much less.

          Remember – your primary care visit and likely your OB/GYN visits will be free because they are preventative care. Yearly physical, yearly labs, PAP are free. I also see my derm once a year, and pay for that visit, but the cost is reduced down to my insurance companies allowed amount. You can also ask your primary care doc if they can write the script for your derm meds, if you want to skip the derm follow-up. Actually I think the plan I had this year has ?3-5 visits to docs that are included with a co-pay only (instead of going straight to the deductible). But that plan is being discontinued for next year.

          But if you do the calculations, you can see that choosing the cheaper plan and paying for derm out of pocket is cost-effective for you.

          I agree that I find this whole process stressful, too complicated, and very frustrating. And I work in health care. The costs are still too high. But I’ve also had to remind myself….. this is health insurance. It is more important than just about anything you pay for each month.

    • Buy a high-deductible plan. Put difference between premiums into a savings account or set up an HSA/FSA/HRA. Voila, you are covered at the level you want to be, for less money.

      And thank you for describing so well the insurance death spiral that was an inevitable result of the cross-subsidies in ObamaCare. You are paying more so middle-aged people pay less. Enjoy socialism.

    • I understand Obamacare is meant to provide affordable coverage to every one. I was paying $150 per month before Obamacare came into effect for my and my husband for a very good insurance plan with no deductible through my employer. After Obamacare came into effect, for the same coverage, I had to pay $430. I switched to high deductible plan and stopped paying the premiums, opened an HSA account and started putting $250 per month there. I can get tax deduction on the money that is going to that account and I don’t feel bad if I don’t use the insurance any given year. If we have to get medical services, then I will pay the deductible with the money I have in HSA account which I would have paid as premium anyways in a low or no deductible plan.

  3. Inspired partly by the WHO report suggesting that red meat and processed meats cause cancer, my husband and I have been talking about shifting away from those foods towards more fish and vegetarian meals. I personally love meat (I know it’s terrible, but I do love steak so much), so this is a tough transition, but I really do want to make this shift. Our standard go-to dinner is basically protein/whole grain or starch/green veg, and it would be great if we could replicate that but with less reliance on red meat. We try to keep it relatively unprocessed and are not interested in meat substitutes like veggie burgers or faux chicken nuggets.

    Any suggestions for resources for super easy family friendly vegetarian meals that are NOT pasta/carb/high-glycemic-index-based? Most of my vegetarian friends just eat a lot of pasta, which is not a good choice for us. We don’t want or need vegan meals. And of course, I need these to be the kinds of things I can pull together after working all day!

    I’d love some inspiration. Thanks!

    • Re-direction :

      I might suggest looking at cuisines that are more traditionally based on the types of diet you want to eat. In your case, maybe Mediterranean (e.g. Greek, Lebanese) and Indian cuisines? Chicken thighs and/or breasts are pretty easy to substitute into the kinds of meals you are describing as an interim step…maybe find a few preparations that you enjoy? I personally also find that shrimp is easier than fish (not sure why, maybe I’m just weird).

    • espresso bean :

      What about soups? I just tried the Real Simple white bean barley soup with tomatoes and greens, and it was filling and delicious! Soup is a good way to get all the food groups in without missing meat.

      Stir-fries are great with tofu or shrimp, if you’re still doing seafood, and you can get a lot of vegetables in. Mexican-type meals also work — just use black beans instead of meat and add guac, cheese, salsa, and rice.

      Generally, the more interesting sauces and seasonings, the less I miss meat. Good luck!

    • heatherskib :

      Fish. No really, I mean fish. Different types and cuts have different flavor profiles. A prime example is canned tuna compared to an ahi tuna steak. A Rare Tuna Steak will help to address your meat cravings while you adjust to the change. Quitting meat was a major factor in treating my PCOS, so I had to adapt.

      In other options, beans and legumes are your friend. Personally, I love thestonesoup. com she has easy meals that offer adaptations for different dietary standards. Almost all of the meals are 5 whole food ingredients or less.

      • Anon in NYC :

        OP, I know you said you’re looking for vegetarian recipes but you mention fish, so here are two easy techniques for cooking fish that still adheres to the protein + starch + veggie format.

        Steaming – you can buy thin fish fillets and steam it in under 10 minutes. It’s delicious topped with some soy sauce, sesame oil, and scallions, although I bet any sort of seasoning during/after the steaming process would work. You can pair this with a starch/grain + veggies. A bonus is that steaming the fish doesn’t seem to make my house smell like fish. I use a parchment lined bamboo steamer for this, but any steamer basket will work.

        Baking “en papillote.” I usually mandolin veggies like carrots, zucchini, and peppers, topped with a fish fillet and seasoning, and wrap it up in a pouch made of parchment paper. Bake this in the oven, and pair it with a starch/grain (you already have the veggies in the pouch).

    • Anonymous :

      This is going to be totally skewed by what flies with your mini humans, of course.
      Grilled cheese sandwiches and a green vegetable.
      Hummus/pitas/veggies to dip.
      Enchiladas/enchilada casserole.
      Moroccan stew over couscous.

    • Anonymous :

      I eat a fair amount of vegetarian meals but they pretty much all involve pasta, rice or bread. If you’re just trying to get away from red meat, what about trying to replace the red meat with chicken or turkey? That seems like the easiest fix. Iowa Girl Eats is a food blogger who cooks with chicken a *ton* – I’ve made lots of her chicken recipes and they are mostly excellent. Boneless, skinless chicken breads would sub well for steak, ground turkey for ground beef. Salmon is also a good sub for the protein part of your meals. I like to do teriyaki glazed salmon, salmon with buttered breadcrumbs pressed on top, and salmon seared in the frying pan. Make extra and throw leftovers on salads (so good on spinach) or sandwiches for another meal during the week. Also, don’t forget about eggs. Easy to throw a poached or fried egg on top of some vegetables to make them a little more filling.

    • My DH needed to lose some weight and lower his blood pressure after finally getting a physical recently, and as the main cook, I had to strategize a bit. For the most part, we had a similar template as yours. I didn’t want to cut anything out entirely or make DH feel deprived, as he would be less likely to stick with the commitment to eat healthier, so I took small steps:
      – Kept eating meat, but increased the ratio of fish and fowl to red meat
      – Prepared smaller portions of meat
      – Upped the vegetable portions
      – Reduced potatoes, pasta, and bread
      – Made vegetarian dinner once or twice a week

      The best veggie dinners we have are either grain bowls or soups. The grain bowls can be may things – quinoa, polenta, farro, barley – with 2-3 vegetables on top plus lentils, cheese, nuts, and/or an egg. Soups can be bean-based or vegetable-based, and are best with a garnish or two on top. Tonight I’m making soup from a kabocha squash I bought at the weekend farmers market, and I’ll top with a little sour cream and some fresh sage leaves sliced into ribbons.

      We’ve been doing this for the last 3 months, and it has been very sustainable. Good luck!

    • SuziStockbroker :

      I eat hardly any pasta and no “fake meat”.

      Tofu once or twice a month (generally panfried and with a sauce and veggies over brown rice), my favourite is with peanut sauce and mango salsa.

      Lots of beans and legumes. Veggie chili is dead easy and can be made in a big batch and portioned out and frozen for future meals. Just replace the meat with beans and lentils.

      Veggie stirfries with cashews or almonds.

      A can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed and added to a premade or jarred Indian or Thai sauce, served with rice and a vegetable.

      Spaghetti sauce with lentils instead of meat, use lots of fresh cilantro.

      “Peanut Butter soup” (Actually called West African Peanut Stew but my kids call it Peanut Butter Soup). Saute and onion and diced sweet potato in a pan, add a little cumin, then vegetable stock and a drained rinsed can of chickpeas and half a can of salsa. Let cook until sweet potato is done (maybe 15 minutes), add a cup of crunch peanut butter and smoosh it up a little with an immersion blender. Add lime juice to taste.

      The above are all super easy and take very little time.

    • This isn’t directed at you OP, but more at all these different studies that come out. On one side, I hear about paleo being the best way to eat and grains/beans and dairy are bad. But then you hear things to the opposite. I don’t know. I guess I just want to hear a study come out saying chocolate is the best thing ever.

      • I’m with you – I will be signing up for the chocolate and red wine diet asap.

    • Start reading all of Mark Bittman’s stuff – this is basically his philosophy.

      I’m a vegetarian that also rarely eats pasta. My go-to protein sources are tofu, beans, lentils, nuts, eggs, plain greek yogurt, and cheese, and my go-to fat sources are (more) nuts, avocado, and coconut (oil or milk). I make a lot of stir-fries with tofu; stuffed vegetables (tomatoes, peppers or squash); veggie chili; quinoa and/or lentil bowls; eggs with veggies or frittatas; and use plain greek yogurt as a topping on a lot of savory dishes.

    • Not really easy or quick, but once you have everything prepped, you won’t regret it: anything Yottam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi put out. Ottolenghi, Plenty, Plenty More, Jerusalem…all great cookbooks. I also recently acquired A Change of Appetite and it supports pretty much the diet you describe.

    • I’d take the WHO report with a grain of salt as well….I doubt you eat that level of processed meats on a daily basis. But if you want to make the lifestyle change, good for you! We stick with chicken/fish/or vegetarian most nights of the week. Staple household meal is salad and grilled chicken/fish with avocado (healthy fat!). We do a lot of soups crockpot stews to take for lunch during the week. I always use ground turkey instead of ground beef for anything like chili, lasagna, meatballs, etc…You really won’t notice the difference. Still use ground beef for hamburgers but those are a rarity (like 4 times a year probably). Just going vegetarian 1 night a week and limiting red meat to once a week will be a huge difference (and most likely to your grocery bill as well!). We probably eat red meat only once a month, and that’s because I’ll get a craving for it.

    • simplicity :

      Don’t try to change too much. Just limit the red meat. You don’t have to suddenly become a vegetarian.

      I’m like you and like a simple structure of protein+grain/starch+veg. But as we were trying to get more healthy, I changed to lean protein + 2 vegetables. When I have that starchy craving, I satisfy with a healthier sweet potato or roasted vegetables.

      Tons of “safer” proteins without going vegan.

      Substitute ground turkey for ground beef in pasta sauces, chili, meatballs etc.

      Chicken! We eat a roast chicken once a week (from Whole foods/costco etc..) – use left overs for sandwiches, or top on a “greek salad”, or in a soup/stew.

      Scrambled eggs. Nothing is better than “breakfast” for dinner. So fast.

      FISH! Fresh salmon at least once a week. Quick bake/broil. A bunch of frozen fish options from Costco that we also eat once a week.

      Start with those, since that’s what you eat already. Of course there are nuts, cheese, lentils, tofu etc… And you can figure out how to work those in over time.

    • Anonymous :

      Fish/couscous/vegetable or chicken/quinoa/vegetable or turkey breast/potatoes/vegetable or eggs/whokewheat pasta/vegetable.

      If your simple protein/carb/veg meals are working now you don’t need to completely change everything to bean stews to cut out read meat, and you’ll likely be more successful if you aren’t so drastic.

    • I don’t know where people get the idea that vegetarians eat fake meat and pasta, but it totally isn’t the case. Infact I don’t know a single vegetarian or vegan who eats like that. Personally I like lentil stew, bean chili, burritos, enchiladas, couscous salads, quinoa bowls, roasted veggie salad, gnocchi, stirfry, loaded baked potatoes, chickpea/lentil curry, falafel.

      • Wildkitten :

        I was a vegetarian as a child and all I ate was pasta. It was delicious.

      • Agree with KittyKat, although I cook much less of such good stuff since I started living alone. But I have to say, my favorite fast meal is a homemade or salad-bar salad topped with Morningstar Farms Veggie Buffalo Wings, cut into small pieces and crisped, with either avocado or blue cheese. And I do love a sandwich of Hickory-Smoked Tofurkey . . .

      • Anonymous :

        From every vegetarian I’ve ever met? All of them.

  4. Trying out a new-to-me brand of tights today. I picked up some hanes “blackout” tights at Target last week which bill two special features:
    1) “designed to adapt to your body temperature for all day comfort”
    2) flexible waistband

    I have to say, the tights are comfortable; very soft and super stretchy without bagging and sagging. I’m not super-aware of any magic temperature thing going on, but I’m not overheated and I wasn’t cold on my morning commute, so maybe there’s something going on there.

    The waistband I’m on the fence about. It’s a wide, low-rise band that doesn’t bind in the least, so no muffin top or waist squeeze going on. But the lower rise (it’s sitting around where my 90’s low-rise jeans used to) makes me feel like my tights are sagging, even though they are not. I may get used to it. They have a lot going for them.

    • Seattle Freeze :

      Thanks for posting this – these sound like the unicorn tights I’ve been looking for :)

    • Inquiring minds want to know…are they FLEECE TIGHTS?

    • I wish that reviews like yours were indexed somehow. For example, there are probably hundreds of useful reviews in the comments from years back, but not very searchable.

    • These sound similar to the Maidenform blackout tights I just bought at Costco. Well, I bought a 2-pack a week ago, and went back yesterday for two more packages. They really are my unicorn tights – very opaque, seem quite durable, $14 for 2 pair, and the waistband is wide and flat, so they don’t make any sort of muffintop. However, these aren’t as low as what the OP described – they come just below the belly button one me (though I’m short waisted), which is perfect for feeling secure.

  5. Anonymous :

    Is there some way to get your iPhone pictures to go to your iPhoto on a desktop automatically?

    • Yes. If you have your iPhone set up to automatically sync with your iCloud account, then you can also set up your iPhoto on your desktop to automatically sync your iCloud photos (and thus your iPhone photos). This is part of the My Photo Stream feature.

  6. Crock Pot Suggestions? :

    We’re having people to our house on Saturday evening for trick or treating and to hang out while handing out candy. I’m looking for a crock pot suggestion that I can make ahead and that will be warm and comforting (as it sounds like it’ll be a wet evening around here on Saturday). I normally make traditional red chili, but am looking for other suggestions. Only catch is that there is a celiac in the group. Any thoughts?

    • SuziStockbroker :

      I always go with chili for these kinds of things myself (we had a Hallowe’en party this weekend); however, you could do something like a butter chicken, or a crockpot lasagna (with gluten free noodles), or a hearty soup (split pea comes to mind).

      Please serve the Celiac first, or take a few portions out for him or her and keep them separate so that s/he does not have to worry about cross contamination.

    • White chili! Easiest thing ever.

      Into thine crockpot, dump:
      – 4 raw chicken breasts
      – 3 cans cannellini beans
      – 3 jars salsa verde (check label for celiac-friendly)
      – a bunch of cumin, salt, pepper.

      Let it percolate for the six hours, shred up the chicken, enjoy!

      • Gluten Free :

        Check the beans too! They often contain modified food starch which can be glutinous.

    • An easy go-to is a baked potato soup – I just cut up potatoes, cook them in chicken broth in the crock pot and blend in a block of cream cheese at the end. I leave out the fixings for people to make their own bowls – bacon, green onions, cheese, and it has always been a hit with a group. You can get bread bowls for the non-celiacs if you want something to make it more substantive.

    • Not great timing on the announcement re red meat today, but I made beef stew in the crockpot yesterday and it was fantastic. No gluten in that, either.

      What about a vegetarian chili? Or white chicken chili? I also like to do pork loins in the slow cooker with a bottle of beer, then pull the pork apart and top with your favorite BBQ sauce.

      • Crock Pot Suggestions? :

        Does anyone know if gluten free beer will work the same way with pork? I assume yes, but thought I’d see before I ruin a whole loin…

        • Anonymous :

          I’ve done pulled pork in the slow cooker with a variety of liquids, so I assume it would work fine.

        • Anonymous :

          I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t. I do this with a jar of salsa or just beef/chicken broth, so it’s not anything about the gluten.

        • No, just don’t do it. I’m celiac, and used to love beer. But all the GF ones I’ve tried have a horrible aftertaste that only gets worse as you cook it.

    • Gluten free beef stew?

    • I do a mean tomato soup and have Celiacs-it’s super creamy and thick without flour.

      You just need diced tomatoes, chicken broth, 1 garlic clove, lentils (or I throw in a can of red kidney beans).

      Throw in the above in the Crockpot-cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4. When you get home, throw in a half-stick of butter and use an immersion blender (or use a plain old mixer, or pour it into a regular blender) to mix upt he whole thing and puree the garlic/tomatoes. It comes out very thick, creamy, and amazing.

      Alternatively, do a fake friend chicken. Dip chicken breasts into a bowl of half mayo/half mustard, then dip the chicken into a pile of grated parmesan cheese and roll it so it’s covered. Throw them into the Crockpot (or bake int he oven, I’ve done both).

      It seriously tastes like plain ol’ friend chicken, but without the bread/gluten

      • …why did I type friend repeatedly? Is it some kind of Freudian slip?! I meant “fried”, obvi

      • For the soup, I usually do a gourmet twist on grilled cheese to go with it. You can get Udi’s sandwich bread and rolls at most grocery stores in the freezer aisle–I just microwave them to thaw them, then treat like normal bread for grilled cheese. Try Fontina cheese with some basil and tomatoes

      • KT, the soup sounds amazing. Can you be more specific on amounts of tomatoes, broth and lentils? And do you just use ordinary green lentils?

        • Sure–I use 2 big cans of diced tomatoes (two 14-ounce cans), I’ll use a 32 oz box of broth.

          For the lentils, I really just eyeball it. I usually use red lentils, and I’ll throw in say, half a cup. If I’m out of lentils, I’ll throw in the kidney beans (I hate beans, but when it’s blended, the beans make it super creamy without tasting bean-y), and I’ll use a full 14 oz can.

          This gives between 6-8 servings.

    • Meg Murry :

      The author at is gluten-free, so that may be a good source for recipes you don’t have to try to adapt, since she makes the substitutions for you. I’d suggest starting in the “soups and stews” category if you want warm and comforting, or searching for chili. I make her Chicken Enchilada Chili pretty regularly, although I usually do quite a bit of variation depending on what I have in the pantry, so I don’t know that I’ve ever made it exactly as written.

      • anonymous2 :

        I love her Chicken Enchilada Chili, make it different each time depending on what’s on hand and I also have celiac so agree for all of Meg’s comments.

    • Anonymous :

      I love the curried chickpea soup Slow Cooker Revolution (a great book in general), which is celiac friendly. I usually add some extra veggies.

    • Anonymous :

      white bean and kale soup? add sausage if you need it to have meat? It’s one of my favorite soups and very crock pot friendly.

    • I make this pork recipe about 2x a month, and it’s delicious. My DH is an extremely picky eater and even he likes it.

    • I recently made a chicken tortilla soup for a party that was a big hit. I’m afraid the link will put this in moderation, but it is the creamy chicken tortilla soup from cooking classy’s website. It is gluten free and uses masa harina as a thickener instead of flour. I served it with white corn tortilla chips, diced avocado, cheese, lime, and cilantro for people to add to the top. I also made cornbread.

    • oil in houston :

      I’ve made a lovely corn chowder this weekend in my slow cooker, it was 32oz of frozen corn, a couple of potatoes, a few carrots, some red peppers, cover it with stock, low for 6-7 hours, then blitz roughly, add a quarter cup of cream, and voila! both gluten free and vegetarian (depending on stock) and lovely

    • Anonymous :

      Swedish meatballs over noodles (cooked separately)?

    • Another anonymous judge :

      The WHO might not agree but Dinner a Love Story Instant Dinner Party pork ragu in the slow cooker for 8-9 hours instead of braising it is amazing. It is just delicious on its own or you could do some gluten free pasta or rice as one of your guests has celiac disease. If pork is an option for you and your guests I don’t think you’d ever regret it. I found it needed a bit of extra salt but otherwise SO yummy….

  7. Anonymous :

    I know there have been a lot of “how to make friends” threads here before, so apologies…but how do you make friends when you are new to an area where you know nobody and are terrible at small talk? I really, really hate chatting with people I don’t know and am awful at it, so the idea of joining a meet-up group or trying to chat someone up at the dog park or an exercise class is extremely unappealing. My husband and I both work in male-dominated industries and our neighbors are mostly older. I’m not even looking for besties since I have a couple of life-long friends I talk to all the time via email. I’m just looking for someone who I could have brunch with once in a while who isn’t my husband or go see a romcom with.

    • Find a thing that meets regularly and has a consistent group of people – volunteer group, hobby class, interest, etc. You may need to try a few things before you find what fits.

      Find other “new to the area” people.

      Figure out a couple of go to lines to ask “What’s your favorite place to eat around here?” “What was the best part of your week/weekend?” “What brings you to X event?” while in small talk situations – it sucks, but you can’t get to know someone if you never talk to them. Having the go-to questions gives you something to say when there aren’t other conversation prompts. Lots of other people hate small talk too, and are relieved to have someone else give them something to respond to. However, if the other person doesn’t help pass the conversational ball, that’s not a failure on your part – you tried, they failed – and you move on to someone else.

    • Stormtrooper :

      Begin volunteering with a local non profit with a cause you care about or get involved with a local chamber/bar association/women’s bar/women’s networking group. Because you’re doing something as these things, there isn’t really the same type of small talk like you would engage in if you were meeting someone at a dog park. You have a task, and that’s how you get to know people. When I moved to a new area, I joined a young professional board that was sort of a sub-group of the Board of Directors of a local non-profit that I cared about. We organized events and did things with the clients of the non-profit. Through those meetings, where we had to talk about planning the events, etc., I got to know people and the ‘small talk’ at least for me was more natural and had the bonus of doing something I cared about with like-minded people.

    • I’m in a similar situation. My plan is to do things I like rather than things that I’m doing for the sole purpose of meeting people. I want to join a running group and take an enjoyable workout class, one that is generally women. Do you have any hobbies? If not, try to cultivate something you would enjoy doing often and involves being somewhat social.

    • Why do you “really, really hate” talking to people? Do you find people uninteresting? I am not trying to sound harsh, but I was pretty put off by this post. I find it hard to reconcile someone who “hates” talking to new people with someone who says they want friends. People are interesting and kind. If you try to find that part of them when you interact, I bet you will make friends. If you loathe dealing with them, I don’t think people are going to want to be friends with you.

      You say you are not looking for besties because you already have “real” friends you email with. If someone is going to be a casual acquaintance you have brunch with once in a while, it sounds like you don’t even want to get to know them well. Which means you are going to have to have a lot of small talk at brunch . . .

      • Senior Attorney :

        This is a little harsh, but I had kind of the same question. I was going to phrase it as “What if you tried telling yourself you don’t mind chatting with people you don’t know, and what if you actually tried to get better at small talk?”

        If you google “how to get better at small talk,” you will find about a million articles, many of which are pretty good. You and your husband could practice on each other. It’s a skill like anything else and can be learned.

      • Anonymous :

        When I said I hate it, I mostly meant because I know I am so bad at it and it’s pretty clear I bore people when I make small talk (every time I talk to someone at a networking event – which I occasionally have to do for my job – I feel like they are desperately trying to escape). Even if I’m not as bad as I think I am, I really struggle to come up with things to say and feel awkward, which I hate. I think I’m a great friend to those who take the time to get to know me, but I don’t think I’m a lot of fun to chit-chat casually with in large group settings.

        Although I can definitely see how my post came across that way, I didn’t mean that I don’t want another good friend – you can never have too many friends and I certainly don’t have a zillion. I just meant that (because I am a pretty big introvert and love alone time) my current feelings of loneliness would be much abated by having someone to go to brunch with every couple of months, even if the relationship never gets deeper than that.

        • Anonymous :

          I think you’re probably fine at chit chat, just lacking confidence. It is awkward! People probably are quite happy to talk to you!!

        • OP: I think I am similar to you in the fact that I am bad at small talk. I feel like I’m boring and whoever I’m talking to won’t find me interesting (in general). I’m good at work-related events because I know what I say is likely more interesting to them then people outside my field. That being said, I think it deals with confidence and trust that you are interesting no matter what.

          Do you know anyone else at work that you can go to lunch with? Maybe start with those around you and go from there? You mentioned that it’s generally men but any other females in other departments that you talk to from time to time?

          I think over the years, I’ve gotten better with small talk and I think it’s because I am just myself. I don’t worry so much about what others think of me. I just do whatever feels authentic to me.

        • Senior Attorney :

          Again, it’s a skill. You can improve if you work at it.

      • hmm, you must not be an introvert.

        • Nah, I’m an introvert and I’m great at small talk. It’s just a skill a person can learn.

          OP, people can tell when you hate talking to them. Work on that part first.

          • Anon Worker Bee :

            Agreed. I am an introvert but after becoming an consultant and being required to talk to new people all the time, I have found that I am much better at small talk, both in work and personal settings.

    • Wanderlust :

      Thank you for posting this. I’m in the same situation.

  8. Anonymous :

    Gift ideas, please?

    Mid-30’s woman. Professor. Mother of small children. Splurges on self often. High higher expendable income than me. Does not like gift cards. Likes to cook, but I swear has every cooking gadget on the planet. Travels frequently for work and pleasure.

    The most successful I’ve been with a gift is a suitcase organizer. I no longer give jewelry/clothing/etc because never successful.

    Looking to spend ~$20.

    • Penzey’s spice gift box
      bottle of prosecco

      • Agree with something consumable.

        • Lorelai Gilmore :

          Try Oaktown Spice Shop – even more artisanal and hipster-ish, with cute packaging. I’d be excited to get one of their kits or a set of fancy salts.

    • Graze box? Another couple months of an inexpensive subscription box?

    • oil in houston :

      cook book?

      • A subscription to Lucky Peach magazine is $28 for US addresses. Or, for about the same price, you could get her The Food Lab cookbook, which just came out last month. Both have good foodie cred.

    • Anonymous :

      Smitten Kitchen Cookbook?

    • Anonymous :

      A nice lipstick or polish or handcream you wouldn’t normally splurge on?

    • Subscription to Bon Appetit or Cooking Light?

    • I’m a lot like your friend except older. One of my favorite gifts ever was a duo of little bottles of fancy olive oil and vinegar – in my case it was Meyer lemon olive oil and white balsamic vinegar. Because I cook so much j tend to buy the bigger bottles of regular (but good) olive oil, so receiving these tiny little extra fancy bottles was really a treat for me. Bonus that they were consumable because then I didn’t have them taking up space in my kitchen.

      Other than that, a small bottle of an unusual liqueur make a similarly nice consumable gift for a foodie friend who is OK with the drink, and unlike a bottle of wine, doesn’t demand to be opened and consumed the night you come for dinner.

    • L’Occitane cream gift set from Sephora. Great to have little minis to stash in a travel bag, desk, etc.

    • You guys are amazing. Thank you so much!

      • I am similar to your friend but probably don’t splurge as often. Idea: fancy salts; finishing salts are delicious and amazing. I bought Hawaiian red sea salt and black sea salt which I use as sprinkles on fruit and they are amazing. Fleur de Sel, French sea salt, is also a good option.

    • Another anonymous judge :

      Two comments in one night – so not me. Just wondering, what about a donation in her honour to a charity she is passionate about? Maybe one that serves underprivileged children/families in your community? I know I am in a position of great luxury and since I’ve had my own children I often fret over the relatively disadvantaged position of families not as lucky as mine in my own community. Small treats are lovely and I certainly always appreciate them but I would love something like this also.

  9. Celiac help? :

    Anyone here have celiac disease that can recommend a good resource (online or book) that can give practical advice without freaking you out?

    I have a friend with terrible anxiety (on the verge of a breakdown) who unfortunately has some medical issues going on due to an terrible diet – severely malnourished due to a poorly balanced vegan diet – now deficient in B12, thiamine, Vitamin D, protein and more. She has eaten terribly for the 25 years I have known her. She recently learned she may have celiac. She’s still awaiting biopsy, but has very high +antibodies. She calls me in a panic every few days because she reads things (???where) that practically tell her she needs to replace everything in her home with something made on a gluten free planet or her life will end. I’m not kidding. She is a basket case. She has no major gastrointestinal symptoms.

    Fortunately, I finally got her to a psychiatrist, and she is seeing a nutritionist. She hasn’t even had a gastroenterologist appointment so I am trying to tell her to calm down and start writing down her questions for when she sees the doctor. I try to tell her she has to EAT as she is essentially starving, and of course avoid major gluten but let’s get to the doctor first.

    Any thoughts?

    • Anon for this :

      Are they diagnosing celiac potentially because she’s very deficient in vitamins only? Severe vitamin deficiencies (because of mal-absorption in the intestines) is a common issue with celiac. That said, it seems unlikely that she would have celiac with some type of gastrointestinal symptom, but I only say that from my experience, not medical knowledge.

      • My relative has celiac with no gastro symptoms, and was finally diagnosed after decades of being anemic (but no other symptoms)

        • Celiac help? :

          Very interesting. I did not know anemia alone could be a symptom. Good to know.

      • Celiac help? :

        Good question.

        Actually, the vitamin deficiencies are likely due to her terrible terrible nutrition. If she has celiac, maybe it is contributing as well, but it is mostly of her own doing.

        She is vegan, and picky, and afraid of every type of possible toxin, and has ethical concerns about everything (not trying to be patronizing… but she has an excuse for not eating almost anything I suggest)…. and she’s a terrible cook and in a very stressful job.

        It does seem odd that she doesn’t have typical GI symptoms. She actually has a ton a vague neurologic complaints that are likely all related to her vitamin deficiencies and her anxiety. You can have neurologic symptoms from celiac, but hers are not consistent with that. So so far it is unclear what complaints (if any) are due to severe celiac. However, she is HIGHLY suggestible, so I am careful to not suggest more symptoms to her or she will decide she has them.

        Fortunately, she has now seen a psychiatrist who’s specialty is people who have physical manifestations of their anxiety/depression, so I hope he has some experience with this.

    • One key thing is that, if she wants an accurate diagnosis, she actually NEEDS to eat gluten. If you go without gluten, your body starts to heal, and you can show up with a false negative. You actually need to harm your body with gluten for an accurate reading–most people do that by eating at least a piece of bread a day, but if she doesn’t have GI issues she wants to avoid, she should eat normal gluten-meals to get the accurate test results.

      Living Gluten Free for Dummies is actually helpful.

      • Celiac help? :

        Thanks for this.

        Even more frustrating for me, she is going to go straight to biopsy without even seeing a GI specialist in celiac. I was worried that the issue of her needing to be exposed to gluten before biopsy would come up, but I am not an expert obviously and I can’t change her mind to put off the biopsy before seeing the GI specialist. Just crazy.

        • Anonymous :

          Biopsy before seeing the specialist is common, what on earth do you think the specialist is going to do?

          • Celiac help? :

            I’m surprised you asked this, especially with this tone.

            You should almost always see a general doctor/specialist before going straight to a surgeon. This is a general truth in medicine.

            The surgeon who will do the biopsy did not tell her to keep eating gluten. He told her to stop eating gluten. He did not ask about her other medical history. Sometimes positive antibody tests can be artifacts, and she may have a rheumatologic/other autoimmune disorder that is relevant. The tests need to be repeated, with additional antibodies run.

            Before having an invasive, surgical procedure (which she is also freaked out about), wouldn’t you want to make sure it is done properly so it doesn’t need to be repeated?

            She also needs to simply see the specialist so he/she can answer her questions so she will simply start to eat. Instead, she is delaying seeing the specialist for months waiting for a biopsy, and becoming more unstable by the day.

    • Lorelai Gilmore :

      No book suggestions, but good for you for helping your friend get to a psychiatrist. This sounds a lot like an eating disorder.

      • Celiac help? :

        Thanks Lorelai.

        I do feel relieved that she now has someone. Now I have been struggling to get her to take the meds he prescribed.

        I hadn’t thought about it until you mentioned it, but she does have a very unhealthy relationship with food. It is not like people I have known with anorexia or bulimia at all. But what a mess now that she will have this extra confounder.

        • Lorelai Gilmore :

          Not diagnosing from the cheap seats, but you might look up “orthorexia” and see if it helps explain what’s going on. It is very hard to be the friend of someone with an ED. I wish you both well.

          • Celiac help? :

            I just looked this up. Wow…. very interesting.

            I now realize that I know someone (other than the friend I am asking about) who definitely has this. She only eats a few raw vegetables and soy milk. That’s it.

    • Coach Laura :

      If she hasn’t been to the doctor and been diagnosed, then she needs to KEEP EATING gluten until she’s had the full test/biopsy. Blood tests, unfortunately, are highly problematic for celiac diagnosis. So while she’s waiting, she (or you) can do some research.

      Some celiac sufferers are highly sensitive and do need to throw out the plastic colander and the Tupperware that have been used with gluten. Some don’t. It will become apparent to her if she needs to be that careful. You are right to tell her not to panic. The web is great for encouraging hypochondria so while ordinarily I’d recommend a blog, I’ll recommend Gluten Free Girl’s first book “Gluten Free Girl: How I found the food that loves me back and you can too” for a primer and to encourage her that normal eating/life is possible.

      When/if she’s diagnosed, I’d suggest that she see a dietician to get real hand-holding and real advice instead of from other celiacs. She may need to see a therapist who specializes in disordered eating – some work in tandem with dieticians. I know that I (before diagnosis) was literally addicted to white bread, pizza and pasta and would have eaten that every day, every meal. Something about the protein in gluten causing cravings. So she may have lots of trouble changing her diet and will need experts, not blogs which is where she’s probably getting all the scary advice. Also, we’ve talked here before that it is possible to be vegetarian or vegan while gluten free but like I said above, that may need expert help. Good luck to her.

      • Celiac help? :

        Thanks again for all of this. I will try again to tell her to put off the biopsy and that her avoiding all gluten may confound it.

        In actual fact, it isn’t that hard to remove gluten from her diet, which was terrible already. She never ate bread, pizza or pasta. She is south asian.

        Her most recent freak out was that she needed to throw away her shampoo and some other toilettries…. She is now practically convinced she has progressive dementia due to celiac and is terrified she can’t wait to get advice from the doctor. This is a woman doing a high powered job and is brilliant and talks on the phone in poetry. But her anxiety is so high that she is having trouble focusing.

        • So she may need to change her shampoo/conditioner because lots of the natural and low fragrance ones do have wheat in them (ask me how I know- owwww). Gluten Free Goddess is great for comfort foods that can be adapted to Vegetarian. Tell her to google RPAH allergy clinic as they have a great guide written by medical professionals she can have sent to her. Multiple allergies and intolerances are hard and do put you on edge. Until you are diagnosed you live in fear of the symptoms but in a year she will feel amazing and have her routine for managing it so down, most people won’t notice.

          • Celiac help? :

            Thank you so much for this!!

            Can I ask, what symptoms do you have from using the “bad” shampoos etc…? What improved as you removed the gluten from your environment?

            It is so hard for my friend since it is not clear what her symptoms are, if she does have celiac.

            It is incredibly helpful for me to hear how long it took for you to adapt these changes. She feels like she has to do it within the week. I have to keep reminding her that she actually told me she feels better now than she has in months (before she stopped the gluten, she felt better… not since stopping the gluten actually!), so she can afford to take time and confirm the diagnosis and start with the big changes.

          • Coach Laura :

            My experience is that the gluten in shampoos, hair gel/mousse, skin lotion etc was that it made my skin itchy, so I may have some level of wheat allergy too. I make sure that anything that could potentially reach my mouth (lotions, shampoo, hairspray, lipstick/lipgloss, makeup and foundation) don’t have wheat. Neutrogena products are mostly wheat-free. Almay and Clinque have a lot of wheat. I’ve even seen wheat in mascara. A lot of items say “infused with protein” or some such notation and the thing in wheat that celiacs react to is the protein.

    • Iowa girl eats is a blog that has lots of easy, but yummy gluten free recipes. I think she just wrote a book about how to make the switch after she was diagnosed.

    • Anonymous :

      If she has celiac she won’t be able to absorb nutrients properly until she is off gluten for quite a while. Don’t minimize the impact that being unable to absorb nutrients has on the brain – something like 20% of calories expended are on everyday brain activity which is a whole lot when you are essentially starving. She should push for the blood test immediately, and get the scope if necessary so she can start treatment. If she can’t afford it and/or the tax reasons/healthcare benefits, then she can stop eating gluten and see if it helps. It’s the only way to treat celiac and for some people the diagnosis has less priority than feeling better. She cannot get properly diagnosed unless she is eating gluten as other posters have said. Also, please don’t dismiss the lack of GI symptoms – celiac, just like Crohn’s disease and some cases of colitis are very serious illnesses with a plethora of symptoms including skin and joint problems among others.

      • Anonymous :

        To clarify – the diagnosis matters for things like tax deductions and for getting certain tests and treatments covered – for example she may need bone scans and osteoporosis treatment if she’s been malnourished for a while and the medical profession typically pushes for a diagnosis before dealing with the other problems. For some people feeling better immediately is crucial and life saving in which case she should just stop eating gluten right away and see if she starts to feel better

        • Celiac help? :

          Thank you for all of this. Yes, she has osteoporosis. But she also gets no sunshine, takes no vitamin D and little calcium, gets no exercise and eats terribly. She wasn’t getting enough calories even without celiac. This is the kind of person that ate only one meal a day for decades. And one poorly balanced meal.

          The funny thing is that she has been feeling better now than ever, since her B12 deficiency has improved and she is trying to eat more. It is only once she got the result of +antibiodies suggestive of celiac that she started freaking out again. And now she suddenly claims she has symptoms of celiacs when she never mentioned any before.

          It will be interesting to see once she starts eating (if she can get her body to do it), and if she really is diagnosed with celiac, how she feels once things are repleated. I have even wondered if her severe anxiety is being exacerbated by her vitamin deficiencies. B12 deficiency can do this.

          • Recently diagnosed celiac :

            So, it sounds extremely likely that she does have celiac disease. My gastroenterologist told me, as he was wheeling me into the room to have my scope, that he had “no doubt” based on my blood test, profound anemia, and symptoms (which I never had until recently but the biopsy confirmed major damage to my small intestine). I am now receiving iron infusions regularly and am waiting for a bone density test.

            Reading about it on the internet is, in fact, pretty scary. And, I have to say, I’ve been spacey and not focussed at work for a while. I was starting to think I might have ADHD but I am 4 weeks off gluten now and my head is clearing.

            For me, the best thing would have been a friend to listen and say “we’ll figure it out”.

            Please don’t say what some people have said to me (I doubt you would) which is variations on “it could be worse, its not a big deal not to eat gluten, you could have cancer etc”.

            In fact, celiacs have a much higher incidence of certain types of cancer. It’s the not knowing how long you’ve had it and how much damage (to your body AND your brain) it has done that is the big deal.

            You sound like a good friend.

          • If you think that someone who only eats one meal a day and complains of symptoms when eating more does not have symptoms I don’t know what to tell you. I promise she has symptoms. If you were my friend your disbelief would be so disrespectful to me that I would never again take advice from you. Do not encourage a sick person to eat and blame their illness on their eating or lack thereof. Your thoughts on this have the potential to do real damage. Please step back and let doctors try to help. Maybe also read up on autoimmune diseases and work on your knowledge level

          • Coach Laura :

            Celiac help- you are nice to want to help your friend. I can tell you from 30+ years of undiagnosed celiac that it does mess with you. It causes nutritional deficiencies. It causes disordered eating. It causes/can cause osteoporosis, mental issues, MS-like symptoms, migraines, joint pain, skin issues, balance issues, nerve pain. There are over 300 symptoms in addition to the standard gastroenterologic symptoms, per the Chicago Celiac center.

            In her case, I’d really recommend getting the biopsy so that she can get proper screening for nutritional and vitamin deficiencies and resultant problems. Sure, if the biopsy is negative, then she can go GF and see if it helps. But again, I think she needs an M.D., dietitian and help from a mental health counselor. She may need vit D therapy, iron infusion, vit B12 (sub-lingual) and calcium. The adult can take up to 2 years to re-grow the intestinal villi that were damaged by gluten, and this damage may be present even if she has no gastro symptoms. She may experience some relief quickly but should be prepared for a long recovery. Good luck!

          • Coach Laura :

            One more thought- eating wheat can cause anxiety for those with celiac. Also, nutritional deficiencies can cause anxiety and “brain fog” where someone just feels like they aren’t as sharp as they’d normally be. Sounds like even without potential celiac, she could have these problems.

          • Celiac help? :

            Thanks all. This is all very helpful.

            She is being followed now by an MD nutritionist and a clinical nutritionist, psychiatrist, new primary care doctor who are supportive. These are all new doctors that I encouraged her to start seeing since I have been helping her. Fortunately, she also has a therapist that she likes, although I don’t have much respect for this person who didn’t see that a psychiatrist was needed long before now….

            She has additional medical history that confounds her food issues as well, that I haven’t revealed for privacy. The anxiety about these issues (that are inactive) is contributing to her not eating. It’s complicated…. particularly as she refuses almost all IV/high dose supplements to replete her deficiencies and only wants to get her nutrients from food.

            To the anon – a bit nasty, but I assume that’s because you have celiac’s and you are sensitive. So I still appreciate your thoughts. As I mentioned before, she does NOT have traditional symptoms when eating foods at all. That is why this was a surprise to her nutritionist MD when the antibodies came back positive. She actually has a cousin who is a gastroenterologist (!!!) who told her there is no way she has celiac disease and that it must be a mistake. I am the one that actually found her the celiac specialist to see and told her not to just listen to her cousin since he admitted he doesn’t treat celiac disease.

            She has alienated all of her friends, and only calls me. She is a handful, and leaves me upset and drained after every phone call.

            I appreciate the reminder that this will take a long time to improve. I remind her that two months ago, she didn’t have any of this information or guidance about what her body needed. Now she is forming a plan. But unfortunately with each new discovery/diagnosis, her anxiety goes through the roof…. so she skips eating.

  10. I’m going to be in Vancouver for work Friday through Wednesday, and I have some of Saturday free and all of Sunday. What should I do on those free days and what are some delicious places to have dinner? I had thought seriously about whale watching, but it looks like the season ends on Saturday, and I don’t think I’d have enough time except on Sunday…

    • You might try Granville island. If you’re staying in the city you can take a ferry there. Lots of shops and restaurants. My daughter and I were there in June and had a good time, though we’re surprised by how early everything closed compared to the U.S.

      We then took a round trip on one of the water taxis. They’re not tour guides – the boats are actual taxis – but we had a nice driver and he pointed out a few things for us and teased my daughter good naturedly, which she ate up because she is 14 and he was a youngish college aged guy. Ah to be 14.

    • Anonymous :

      Not sure about the season but if you can go out with Wild Whales Vancouver, doooo it! We had a blast and saw SO many killer whales (that’s the kind of whale they focus on, which is cool, because at least in N. America there aren’t too many places to see them).

    • N.C. anon :

      I was just there for a day and a half in August! Bring some comfortable shoes and walk along the Sunset Beach/English Bay Beach trail, especially as the sun is going down.

      I second the recommendation to visit Granville Island. It’s a great place to get brunch and the market there is picturesque. We were recommended to try Edible Canada, which had a lot of locally sourced food (and good beer too, if you like that kind of thing). Our main evening meal was at North Vancouver Night Out on a Saturday evening. Not sure if that’s seasonal, but it was a gorgeous view of the downtown skyline and there were a bunch of food trucks and artists.

      Also check out Stanley Park.

    • Anonymous :

      Granville Island and Stanley Park. Highly recommend The Flying Pig and The Twisted Fork. The fish house in Stanley Park is pretty good. Go to the beaches (a lot of people go to the beach to watch the sunset on Friday/Sat night). Downtown Vancouver was very walkable and easy to get around. I was coming from the east coast and I only used public transportation (used the train to get downtown from the airport) and walked all of downtown vancouver. Gastown is a cool area to go out to bars/eat. I got yummy granola and tea at the market on Granville Island.

    • Anonymous :

      DH and I visited Vancouver this summer. My absolute favorite activity of the trip was biking along the seawall in Stanley Park. Gorgeous!

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