Food and Drink 

Cleaning up your eating act

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Oh the joy and unrelenting mercilessness of sweet spring, when light grows stronger and suddenly, revealed for all to behold, are cobwebs twining around track lights, enough dust to write graffiti in, and all the white, flagging flesh of winter hibernation gone bad.

So while you’re dragging out the (we hope, eco-friendly) cleaners and mops, for the traditional spring cleaning, how about some cleansing for the old bod as well?

That doesn’t necessarily mean a purge. But if months ago you kissed good-bye those well-intended New Year’s resolutions, spring is a great time to clean up your eating act. Too much crap and not enough care when it comes to food choices? Here are a few easy, doable concepts to add zing to your renewed spring-being:

1. Water, water and more water. If you want to keep your corporeal self on track, grab a glass of water. Hey, guys, that means you. Women are much more likely to do their eight to 10 glasses a day. I don’t know why, but guys seem to think beer or a giant latte count as water, and water doesn’t count at all. Bzzzzt. Wrong. Alcohol and beer are diuretics, meaning you’ll whiz out more liquid than they provide, ergo dehydration city and looking like an 80-year-old buzzard after a weekend bender.

So give the plain stuff a whirl. The more you drink the more you’ll want. Plus everything from kidney stone prevention to electrolyte balancing and really lovely skin can be laid at the feet of the mighty water god. One fitness guru figures that half the time you feel hungry, you’re really thirsty. A good glug of water would solve a lot of the obesity problems our over-nourished nation faces.

By the way, the stuff out of the tap is just fine, especially at Whistler. With worldwide consumption of bottled water exceeding 160 billion litres annually, think of all those plastic bottles ending up in landfills. Plus bottled water costs are about 10,000 times higher than tap water. And a whole bunch of hydro-carbon-spewing trucks delivered it to your store.

2. Free reading at the grocery store. If you want to really feel good with what you put in your body, get the label-reading habit. The mysteries of nutritional content will delight and surprise you. One example: more people are turning to soy beverages as A. as they realize they are lactose intolerant and B. they learn about the health benefits of soy products, but won’t go near tofu with a 10-foot pole. But check out the label on your soy "milk". The third ingredient is organic evaporated cane juice. Rice milk is also loaded with sweeteners, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Innocent-looking dried fruits can contain saturated fats and added sugars; even good-looking whole grain breads can be riddled with dietary no-nos. Look again, is it fruit juice or fruit drink? Labels can surprise you by revealing what’s inside, and what’s not. And don’t forget to look for organic and fair trade logos.

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