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By Catherine Kenwell

This is the third in a series of articles on our staff approaches to diet, health and lifestyle.

BOO owner Denise Tucker wasn’t always a thoughtful eater, but in the past 15 years or so, she’s paid close attention to what she eats.

“I don’t believe in diets as such,” she explains, “but I do believe that 80 per cent of our wellbeing can be attributed to diet. Exercise—physical and mental—and general happiness is the other 20 per cent of a healthy lifestyle.”

General manager Marcia seconds that philosophy. In addition to her working out daily, Marcia says she and her family eats “colours, lots and lots. We fill up the plate with bright, colourful food, the fresher the better. We eat lots of salad, too!”

Marcia’s young daughter Lily has adopted her mom’s attitude towards healthy meals. “Lily loves flavour! And she’s open to trying a lot of different foods.

“I was taught that you shouldn’t feed your children what you wouldn’t feed yourself. In our house, that means as a family we avoid additives and processed foods.”

Denise and Marcia try to avoid that sluggish feeling from eating too much or too many carbs by filling up their plates with lots of greens and foods with lots of flavours.

“I love real foods with vibrant colours—both because the flavours are amazing and because the look on the plate is energetic and appetizing,” Denise says. “I do try to limit or avoid anything white—bread, rice, pasta, milk and cheese, but I must confess, I love the really good feta!”

How do Denise and Marcia incorporate olive oil and balsamics into their diets? Denise uses olive oil almost exclusively in the kitchen, for cooking and for finishing.

Denise’s salad dressings are usually and EVOO and Traditional Balsamic or one or the other. “It’s amazing what a pour of premium high-polyphenol EVOO can do for a simple salad.”

“One of my favourite things is to take all my vegetables and chunk them up and cook them in a basket on the barbecue, with either just balsamic, just EVOO or a little of both,” Denise says. “Another favourite is salmon in tinfoil with Chipotle Olive Oil and Maple Balsamic.”

“Extra-virgin olive oil is my best friend in the kitchen,” Marcia says. “It aids in everything I cook, and it’s key to making a quick one-pan dinner. It’s the start to many meals. And for salads, which we eat pretty much every day, we just use an EVOO and a balsamic. Like last night, we had steak and salad with Watermelon Balsamic and Basil Olive Oil. So delicious, healthy and simple!”

While neither Denise or Marcia subscribe to specific diets, their meals and eating habits follow similar themes—vibrant, colourful, healthy foods and the use of healthy oils from Barrie Olive Oil. But, as Marcia laughs, “Don’t get me wrong—last night we were into the chocolate Easter eggs!”

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