For many, the colder months represent a time to slow down, snuggle up and comfort eat bowl after steaming bowl of rich food. You could be forgiven for thinking that humans aren’t endotherms; that like our cold-blooded reptilian friends we need to preserve our body heat like this.
Not so, rawists! Like so many others, these behaviours are a matter of habit rather than necessity. It’s perfectly possible to forgo the slow-cooked stews in winter and keep up your energy and body temperature on a Raw diet.
We’ve put together some quick tips for shaking up your hibernation routine for R-A/W18. You’re welcome!
Layer Up, Buttercup!
Obvious, we know, but our number one tip is: dress warm! Layer your layers to trap air and insulate you from heat-loss. Stay toasty and you’re less likely to want to kill the chill by compensating with hot food. We’re betting you don’t often crave hot chocolate on the beach, after all.
Raw, Not Chilled
Eating Raw doesn’t have to mean eating fridge-cold food. The Raw approach allows for the heating of food up to 42°C, which is about the temperature people usually wait for their hot food to reach before eating it, anyway. Gently warming some components of your dish elevates the whole thing into the comfort-sphere – just have a food thermometer handy to keep it technically Raw.
Remember to allow time for your refrigerated ingredients to come to room temperature before eating them. You can also mix hot water into cold, raw base ingredients to bring the temperature up gently.
Bonus tip: Harness the power of friction! Leaving a high-power blender to do its thing for extra time can warm up raw soups and juices.
Spice Up Your Life
Spices are Mother Nature’s gifts to rawists. Whether in your food, juice or skincare routine, there’s a spice to treat your senses and out-cosy the cold.
For heat, add ginger, cayenne, black pepper or raw garlic to your raw dishes.
Chug a ginger-based juice in the morning to start your winter day right – you won’t regret it!
For comfort; cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg and cloves are festive, evocative flavours that release their cosy magic through raw deserts and lightly warmed plant-based milks.
Bonus tip: A teeny pinch of cayenne transforms coconut oil into a tingly warming lip salve, while some root ginger and Epsom salts in your bath will both warm you through and energise you.
Cold Crockery = Old News
There are many ways to warm up your food and drink vessels. You may have a designated warming drawer or you can use an oven on very low (check the material is oven safe – not suitable for plastics) or even a sink of piping hot water. Heating plates, bowls and mugs brings and maintains a gentle warmth to your food and your hands.
Dried and Dense
With fewer fresh fruits and veggies in season; dried, dense fruits help fill the void and keep you satisfied. Something about the gooeyness of dehydrated fruits feels inherently comforting. Dates, dried figs and raisins are a great addition to any Raw course.
Feeling Fuller with Fats and Carbs
We do need a little more energy in the winter to maintain our body temperature, and carbs are where it’s at. Fruits, both fresh and dried (as above) are a good healthy carbohydrate source, as are some grains, such as oats. Fat’s also a good filler, and did you know that your body may conserve energy by producing less heat when you’re hungry, so you’re more likely to feel cold? Avocado, nuts, seeds and coconut are wonderful ways of getting good fats in.
Spike Your Water
Warm water with a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar (ACV) is sure to stoke your internal flames. (It just might also fend off winter nasties – see here for why ACV is a great addition to your pantry and your medicine cabinet.)
Another non-diet tip – we know! – but not only does getting moving warm you up instantly, the improvement to your circulation will help you heat your extremities day-to-day. If you’re really feeling the chill, Bikram yoga is guaranteed to sort you out.
For those of you wanting to experiment with Raw eating, you can incorporate it in your mixed diet this winter without compromising the integrity of your Raw ingredients. See our recipe section for inspiration and methods that keep Raw ingredients Raw!