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Sportsman-like conduct — vegan style

Heidi Rice
Fried Rice

“It’s OVER!” I said, raising my arms up in victory. “I don’t care what Punxsutawney Phil says…this is the true sign that spring is on its way!”

Husband-Head didn’t look as excited.

Of course, he didn’t look that excited when the Super Bowl was on, either, being that he was trying out a vegan diet.

“So, obviously buffalo wings aren’t on the menu this year,” I teased him. “Perhaps I can fry you up a veggie burger?”

“Oh my GAWD!” I said, looking at a black side dish. “That looks like the pile of ants that we get on the sidewalk! Gross!”

“I can’t have bread or anything cooked in oil,” Husband-Head informed me, not sounding very happy about it. “I can’t have any dairy or sugar, and I’m not even supposed to have a beer.”

In more than 20 years of marriage, this was going to be a first.

“Why live?” I asked curiously. “In fact, what ARE you allowed to eat? A sunflower seed and a glass of water?”

“It would have to be an unsalted sunflower seed,” Husband-Head said, now starting to look morose.

I decided to take a peek at the week’s menu for his vegan diet.

“I sure as hell hope you like butternut squash,” I said, reading the diet. “Because you’re going to have a lot of it this week.”

When he brought home one meal, I had to have a look.

“Oh my GAWD!” I said, looking at a black side dish. “That looks like the pile of ants that we get on the sidewalk! Gross!”

Apparently, it was some kind of Eastern rice…

Other menu items included things such as a “purple Peruvian potato cake with Swiss chard,” faro risotto with sundered figs and a glazed rosemary lentil loaf.

“I’m sure this is all good for you, but what the HELL?” I laughed at Husband-Head. “I wouldn’t even know how to start to make any of this stuff.”

I tried to buy vegan food, but even the people at the grocery store started to laugh at me.

“Uhh…lettuce wraps, rice cakes and soy milk?” my favorite checker asked, raising an eyebrow. “You OK?”

I assured her I was fine as I threw a New York strip steak on the counter.

“Can you, like, wrap that separately so my husband doesn’t see it?” I whispered.

“Sure,” she whispered back. “I see we’re stealth shopping, eh?”

Husband-Head looked hopefully into the grocery bags when I got home.

“No, it’s all vegan,” I said, hiding the steak behind my back. “You’re doing so well and I’m so proud of you. You look great.”

He did look good, except when he was eating. Then he just looked depressed.

“Honey, instead of a counting out how many peas you can have, why don’t we just get you some anti-depressants and call it good?” I suggested.

“And wash ’em down with a beer?” he said hopefully.

No. I do not recommend that.

A little while later, I found him again hanging out in his man cave.

“I thought football was over,” I pointed out. “Why do you still need to be hanging out in the cave?”

Husband-Head didn’t say anything, but just started doing a little dance, turning around and around.

“Will it go round in circles?” he sang loudly to the old Billy Preston song. “Will it fly high like a bird up in the sky?

I feared that perhaps he had overdosed on butternut squash.

“Honey, maybe you need to eat some protein,” I suggested. “You’re acting kind of spastic, which is not normal after football season ends.”

“No, I’m happy!” Husband-Head said enthusiastically. “Football season may be over, but now it’s time for … NASCAR!”

Never heard of anyone eating carrot sticks and drinking fruit juice while watching NASCAR…

Oh well … looks like it’s going to go ’round in circles from now until November …

Heidi Rice is the editor of the Citizen Telegram. Her column appears every Thursday in the Telegram.


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