Feeding Your Family: Spring Cleaning
By Larissa Phillips

April really is the cruelest month, and I don\'t mean because of the weather. I\'m talking about that first day out in the sun. You know the day. Bare legs and arms? All that winter flesh gasping and writhing in shock at the bright spring sunshine? We are like those tender little worms, fat and pale, that you find in the garden when you suddenly lift up stones.

But not for long. Some spring tonics, some time spent outside, and we are ready for the season. Amazingly, the earth is on the job. Here we\'ve been eating winter foods, for months. The colder it got, the more the winter root vegetables converted to sugar, and the more pounds we packed on. Great! We made it through the winter with plenty of natural insulation. Thanks, Mother Nature.

No, really! Because now, after all those starchy sugars in the winter, the earth gives us tonics to cleanse. We get food diuretics like watercress, asparagus and rhubarb. Bitter young greens and sharp little shoots to pile on to our salads. Not only do all the sharp, tangy, bitter and zesty flavors come as a welcome relief to our taste buds, they also help flush, cleanse and wake up our bodies.

Once again, eating seasonally and locally makes sense. Visit your farmers\' market for the first harbingers of spring. Choose what looks good, and then plan your menu. (Better yet, ask the vendor for tips.)

Happy cleansing!

Larissa Phillips is an award-winning writer, cooking instructor and food writer for and Dominion Parenting Media. Email her at

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