7 top tips to keep you warm
Are you struggling in the cold weather on a hi-raw diet ? This is the time of year when people often go back to eating too much stodgy, cooked food.
The previous blogpost was about the merits of fasting at this time of year, and how it allows us to indulge a little deeper into heavier foods without paying the bed-ridden price.
But if you're too scared or skint to do that, then we've also got lots of tips to keep you warm though the winter while staying healthy at the same time.
1. Spice it up
Use spices to add warmth. Cinnamon, ginger, turmeric, mild curry spices, are great in soups and smoothies, stimulating digestion and bringing many benefits to the immune system.
Dao's current favourite is adding an inch of ginger to his morning nut milk smoothie - it gives the whole thing a 'warming lift'.
2. Gently, gently
Raw food can be lightly warmed as long as it is kept under 116F, but you don't need a thermometer. For instance, if you're warming a raw soup in a pan, as long as you can keep your finger in it comfortably, it is not too hot.
Extra tip: warm the bowl by filling with boiling water, and empty again before adding food.
3. Eat denser foods
Foods with a higher fat content will feel more satisfying at this time of year.
You may need the additional calories of denser foods in winter - more nuts, avocados, coconut, and raw goat/sheep cheese.
Careful on the weight gain for those of you concerned with such things.
4. Hi-raw, not all raw
Because we are advocating just a dominance of raw food, that leaves you plenty of room for manoeuvre. Aim for 75% raw leaves, fruits, veg, nuts & seeds. And 25% can be cooked - roasted or steamed veg, soups, stews, and curries.
Any cheese, meat, fish and eggs that you are eating will naturally be a part of this 25%. But remember to keep those raw, green leaves at the fore - try adding a bit of cooked to your salad.
Try sautéed onions, or steamed broccoli, green beans or peas.
5. Hot drinks
Hot water, with a squeeze of lemon, and a pinch of cayenne or paprika, or slices of raw ginger.
A soothing, warm drink that also has immune boosting, and anti-inflammatory qualities that protect you from winter bugs. An ancient, Ayurvedic recipe, used for centuries.
Turmeric has blood-thinning properties, and is used as a medicine in this way. You may have heard of it more recently because of its anti-cancer fanfare !
Recommended 1 cup per day max.
6. Layer up
It sounds simple, and it is...
Wear more layers, rather than turning the heating up.
Remember the old Scandinavian idiom - "There is no bad weather, only bad clothing"...
It is easy to slump into lethargy in the depths of winter, but some exercise will warm you from the core, as well as really lifting your mood.
Or even putting on your favourite music and having a dance around the living room.
Make sure it is something you enjoy, and not a 'should'... They never last.
And remember, if you can't stay high raw throughout the winter, and you don't want to pay the winter colds bill, then just come and fast with us for a week, and you can relax a lot on diet.
It is not an excuse, and it is not an avoidance of discipline, it is just a means of ramming them all into one week, so you can relax a bit in your day to day !
And you might even learn something about yourself, and your relationship to food in the meantime !