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  1.  (10882.381)
    #lost cat

    In laws have managed to lose a cat. My partner's brother is returning from living in Spain, and had the cat, a tom, shipped over with the rest of his stuff. It arrived at 4 am and they put it in the spare room. Unfortunately, it climbed the curtain and got out of the window. And vanished.

    Does anyone have any insight into what an un neutered male cat, escaped into a strange country, is likely to do next?
  2.  (10882.382)
    Apart from attempt to fuck all the local females.
  3.  (10882.383)
    Well, if you believe the Daily Mail, it'll probably try to claim benefits.

    Sarcasm aside, hunger will strike soon (yes, post-coitally, no doubt!). I'd advise shaking a cat biscuit box outside at frequent intervals and leaving backdoor open with the aroma of cat food wafting from inside, and hopefully he'll be back for breakfast soon. Any clothes/rugs belonging to your partner's brother should probably be liberally draped around the house, so that it smells familiar.
  4.  (10882.384)
    That's a good idea - thanks, will pass it on.

    Well, if you believe the Daily Mail, it'll probably try to claim benefits.

  5.  (10882.385)
    #gluten free newbie

    So. This week two different doctors suggested I try a gluten free diet. I have made some spectacular failures so far in trying to eat gluten free. Where is a good place to start? Also, I am supposed to be on a low carbohydrate diet and I'm getting really grossed out at factory farmed meat/dairy, which makes this all rather difficult. I'm overwhelmed, and I often am not up for cooking a meal from scratch, and I don't know what to do.
    • CommentTimeAug 31st 2013
    #gluten free

    My roommate is gluten sensitive, so she's cut as much of it out as possible. She mostly subsides on salads of kale or spinach, other vegetables, almonds, no dressings. For protein, she's usually doing meats/bacons/eggs & peanut butter but lately she's actually just been supplementing with gluten-free protein bars, very little meat. Rice cakes and peanut butter or rice flour pancakes with blueberries as a snack. Coconut ice creams or baker's chocolate as a dessert and chia/flax seeds in a smoothie for a filling beverage. She doesn't do any pastas at all, just wraps everything in lettuces - I actually have been switching over to gluten free quinoa or rice pastas and while I feel less sluggish than with wheat things, they are a bit high in carbs. I've been seriously considering converting my last mainstay of gluten and jumping from potato rolls to tapioca rolls for hamburgers and hot dogs as my at home meals.

    Sometimes we make a rice-based soup: she'll do a chorizo soup (which you should be able to get super fresh sausages out there) or I do a chicken lime soup - you can switch it up with a tofu or meat supplement, and add the bouillon if it doesn't gross you out. Serve with beans to make heartiest - black beans tend to be lower carb than lentils. I've also been switching over to quinoa/risotto/etc rices. If you ever want to make homemade yellow rice for any reason, it's really nothing more than tumeric powder, onion, garlic and chicken bouillon - the secret to most hispanic foods is bouillon. You could also just throw together a bunch of ziplock baggies of your preferred grain & seasonings so that eliminates most of the "cooking" aspect and turns it into more of a "just add water/stock) & protein and stick in the microwave" thing.

    If making meals from scratch suck, you could maybe cook in bulk & store in the freezer? Cooked pancakes can just be reheated in the toaster like an eggo, or freeze uncooked root-pancakes like a potato pancake but with a spaghetti squash, which is supposed to be low carb count and tend to be pretty cheap & huge. Maybe mix with shredded spinach or top with fresh spinach and then throw on a bean-based sauce? You can throw black beans or chickpeas into a food processor and use that as a base for something, just freeze patties again or throw into an ice cube tray to form blocks of it, then stick into a bag or tupperware. Also, maybe some kind of granola or hot cereal that is gluten free/low carb?

    Probably the best bet for cheap, low-garb and gluten free is just buying stuff in bulk & then individually packaging into things you can freeze/prepare in the microwave. Maybe also look at vegan paleo diets for a few recipes to supplement (my reading on it makes it seem pretty unhealthy for a full lifestyle, but then they come out with dishes like this: and I die with hunger lust).

    Related: does anyone know about the healthiness of utilizing protein powders? I'd like to cut back my meat consumption, but not eating meat leaves me feeling empty inside and sluggish, because I think my body just requires high levels of it. Having a sugar-free protein powder pudding might be nice...
    • CommentTimeAug 31st 2013 edited

    I've got celiac disease, diagnosed about five years ago. At this point I'm a pro at finding all the hidden sources of gluten out there. Send me a FB message with any questions, but here's my general primer:

    Gluten is in a million things, so it depends on how serious you have to be. Celiac means EVEN TEENY TEENY TEENY TINY amounts of gluten make me pretty sick. So, not to brag, but I'm really really fucking good at avoiding it. I don't really place a TON of stock in people who claim that pulling gluten out of your diet can solve certain ills, but for people with real intolerances it can be a blessing. Intolerances are difficult to test for so unfortunately you can't really do anything but try it out and see if it helps you feel better. And it may be the placebo effect if you do feel better, but hey, the placebo effect has value in itself.

    Gluten intolerances aren't as severe as celiac, but some doctors do recommend that people with intolerances pay as close attention as people with celiac do.


    Grains (half of this list is fancy words for gluten):



    Vegetable starch/protein
    Malt anything (unless labeled as corn or something like that but that
    rarely happens)

    Gluten is also commonly in lipsticks, so Google the brands you own to make sure you can still use 'em. It's also in lotions and conditioners and other things (the hidden gluten sources in makeup are a separate whole article). Lipstick is the only thing I'd worry about if I were you since it's what you'll ingest. Ditto chapstick/lip balm.

    If you are being ultra-careful, as I have to be, you also can't eat ANYTHING that was processed in a facility that also handles wheat or gluten products. It doesn't always say, so when in doubt, do not purchase. Unfortunately this rules out a lot of really cheap stuff out there.


    You can still eat a ton of really delicious stuff. Just go for veggies, meats, cheeses, beans (canned, dry ones are cross-processed). Eggs are GREAT and super cheap.

    The moral of the story: you read the label of EVERYTHING. EVERYTHING. Gluten hides in stuff. For example, soy sauce usually has wheat flour in it. Who knew? Also: oats are usually processed in facilities with gluten, grown in fields next to gluten-ful crops, etc. So Quaker Oats, if you're looking out for cross-contamination, are strictly off limits.

    Seems like a lot, right? Like I said, if you've got questions, I've got answers.

    Here's a decent resource for recipes to start out: Gluten Free on a Shoestring."


    BOOZE! Wine is fine, most ciders are fine. Beer is a no. Distilled liquor is fine, since the distillation process is considered to remove gluten.
  6.  (10882.388)

    There have been times when I've lived on (suitable) booze (certain brands of vodka and gin are no goes for me as they are made from a barely or rye base, gah. no idea if its gluten or something else with them though) and greens and tiny lentils and nuts/nut butters. Oh and tomato for the vitamin C!

    There are a couple of tamari brands here that are definitely wheat/gluten/barley free, and ditto miso (but I'm also soya allergic so thats out as well)

    Buckwheat is another thing that is horribly cross contaminated at the moment. Ditto (in the UK anyway) quinoa :-( Strangely enough I've found that buckwheat noodles made in the far east have never set off a reaction - I can only assume that the production volumes are high enough that the whole premises/chain only handles buckwheat...

    In terms of getting in good probiotics though - its really generally good to eat high betacarotene foods (plus you can then successfully process and use the vitamin D you eat or make) and also to get into fermented foods, to replace various things that dairy can otherwise bring to your diet (although, I'm not sure if most dairy of this sort is available in the USA? Its pretty usual here to be able to get unhomogenated milk and raw milk cheeses).
  7.  (10882.389)
    OK sorry folks, edited due to sanity underrun error. Back later.
  8.  (10882.390)

    Thanks, guys! It's a great way to start. I bought some gluten free pancake mix, so I could do the making of pancakes ahead of time thing. I've got some organic boullion that I got at Whole Foods, so I figure I can continue making asian style soup with soy noodles, at least. (but no SOY SAUCE?! *sob*)

    I'm not Celiac, I'd been tested. I do have Crohn's disease in my family and recurrent IBS, and it seems that Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (the connective tissue disorder they think I've got) is comorbid with Celiac. The wierd thing is that Iv'e felt really.... calm. I mean, I've not had the sudden feeling that someone just punched me in the guts and is twisting my lower intestine around, which I used to get on a daily basis, and that's pretty fabulous. But I didn't expect to feel so calm. I've read a few articles detailing how going on a gluten free diet was a miracle solution to young children with crazy behavioral disorders, but.... I didn't expect it in me. At least not this quickly.

    Could this all be psychosomatic?
  9.  (10882.391)
    Nope. I'm so much more level in every sense since I went GF etc. Although sugar sends me completely sky high now when it didn't ever used to.....
    • CommentTimeSep 4th 2013
    @Rachael, psychosomatic effects from going gluten free are common, but like I said above, the placebo effect is still a pretty great thing. So whatever it is, I'm glad it seems to be making a difference.
    • CommentTimeSep 5th 2013
    @Rachael They make gluten-free soy sauce! It's delicious and not ridiculously expensive!
  10.  (10882.394)
    @glukakke - regarding soy sauce, I'm confused. The low soduim soy sauce I have does not list "wheat" as an ingredient, and when I went to the food store, all the types and brands there did have "wheat" listed as an ingredient. Perhaps I've stumbled by chance on the gluten free one?
  11.  (10882.395)

    I can't concentrate at home. The erratic nature of my roommate's schedule and not wanting to be a COMPLETE nocturnal person means I've little time to myself without music of TV going here. Also, the cockroaches and the constant need to try and clean and purge them doesn't help either. I need space. My own space.

    When I look up the "affordable" NYC spaces, they list income brackets, and being on Disability, I make a little over half of the lowest income bracket they allow. Really, I need "practically free" if I'm going to afford anything at all in NYC.

    If anyone has notions for affordable work/live spaces elsewhere, that one could afford to live at with around $700 in monthly income, I'm all ears. I don't know anything about residencies, but maybe that's what I should be looking for?
    • CommentTimeSep 11th 2013
    • CommentTimeSep 11th 2013
    @dorkmuffin OMG the Little Soya fish packets! If I ever start leaving the house again, I neeeeeeed the feeeeshes
  12.  (10882.398)
    Yes! La Choy! That's the one I've got! Ok, that explains that mystery. Thank you! :D
  13.  (10882.399)

    The NYC real estate market is bizarrely alien to me, but a couple of random ideas for studio space away from home: Seek out "artist collectives" that take a house or multiroom apartment/office and parcel it out as studio spaces. Maybe a "room for rent" in someone's home (e.g. quiet little old lady) would avoid the high prices of commercial spaces and overkill of something that's supposed to be a complete apartment.
  14.  (10882.400)

    bits of work are piling up and I'm increasingly in need of a kick up the bum, or a drunken weekend away as motivation...