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Dining With Duncan

This week, I had the opportunity to visit with my friend Susanna Chilbert, who goes to school in Minnesota. I asked her about the food in Minnesota, and she replied that they survive on a diet of caribou, moose, and polar bears. When I asked her how they served these exotic dishes, she gave me a withering look, a connotation of sarcasm. So much for guest chefs.

Over the break, I was treated to many a delightful holiday meal, and as I ate, I thought of this column, and my many devoted readers eating the same splendid winter repast. Because of the wonderful selections of meats, cheeses, and vegetables over the holiday, it can happen that we abuse our food opportunities, and that can be unfortunate. Food should be used to create a sense of health and happiness, not bloated fullness. With that in mind, here are some ideas for a cleansing diet in the first weeks of 1999:

1. My friend Elaine is celebrating her 20th birthday with a juice fast, purifying her body before her new decade begins. This is a wonderful idea, one which can sweep the impurities from the body. Fasting should not be abused, but once every so often, going without for a day is good for the mind, body, and spirit.

2. If you can't make the commitment to vegetarianism that some people admirably can, try out a veggie day, week, or even month. A weekly Meatless Monday can enhance your diet, but it isn't the daunting task of removing hamburgers, chicken fingers, and pork chops from your food repertoire.

3. The less processed your food is, the better it is for you. Head to the salad bar and the fresh fruits for the most nutritious eating we have available to us. Your diet should include a daily salad and at least two fruits/vegetables per meal.

I hope everyone cleans out their systems and starts the New Year with vim and vigor. Happy New Year.

Passion! Love! Art! Food!

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