Ettie Newlands

My husband took my hand across the dinner table, and said we needed to talk.

“If I don’t get some soon, I’m going to have to turn myself in,” he said.

I hardly knew how to respond.

“Gluten!” he semi-yelled. “I’ve gone as long as I can without it, but I need bread and I need it bad.”

It’s interesting that five years ago, I’d never heard the word ‘gluten.’ But like the word ‘venue,’ it’s butted into every other sentence.

And speaking of the word, why is the add-on “free,” as in “gluten-free?” Why is it not “less,” as in “gluten-less?”

In the Land of the Poorly Punctuated, “gluten-free” could even be interpreted to mean there’s no charge for those products.

So, the good man has been on the alkaline lifestyle, which is gluten-less.

It’s also dairy-less.

Meat-less and fish-less and poultry-less as well.

It’s basically vegetables and fruit and random grabs of Cheez-its because let’s be reasonable.

But it promises enough good health and wellbeing to make it worth the obvious side effects such as having no reason to live.

A seriously good sport, the dear man agreed to eat this way, or as he likes to say, “un-eat,” because he knows I’ll make his life miserable until he does.

But he can’t resist the snide comments.

I took a vegetable casserole of sweet potatoes, carrots, cauliflower, broccoli and onions out of the oven and put it on the table.

Beside it I put a salad of spinach leaves, kale, tomatoes, peppers, cucumber, mushrooms and sprouts.

“So over here I have it hot and over here I have it cold?” he asked.

“They’re different vegetables,” I told him.

He suggested that like Amish kids go out into the world for a year to see if they’d prefer it to their traditional lifestyle, he should take periodic breaks from this lifestyle.

During that time, he’d experiment with roast beef and mashed potatoes and gravy and ultimately make a lifestyle choice.

I don’t think he’s going to leave me for a loaf of seeded rye, but I think we better grill a steak now and then.

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