When I started to eat raw meals regularly, it was Winter. This wasn’t a macho thing: to test the feasibility of not cooking at the most challenging time of year – it was just the way it happened, and on reflection, it has saved me a lot of subsequent anxiety, because I got that particular issue out of my system straight away.
Technically, of course, I was in-transition, so I had one cooked meal a day which seemed natural and sustainable. Having some cooked food at lunch-time, when my appetite is keenest, meant I satisfied the pyschological need and relaxed, thus avoiding a drawn out battle with myself about whether to cook or not cook at dinner. This approach served me well, and prevents me from getting jittery about the onset of Winter. This is patently not true for everyone as there is a ritual of worries expressed online every year.
The ability to handle grey areas of the raw food lifestyle with equanimity is based on pragmatism and common sense: it is very easy to get caught up with the supposed ideal of 100%. Ideal for who? In my opinion, the paradigm exists to orientate us in the right direction, like a compass. When you follow a compass, you naturally make allowances for the topology on the ground. It is often possible – and preferable – to go around an obstacle rather than struggle unnecessarily.
There is a lot of information available on how to stay raw in Winter by simply googling the subject, so I am not going to regurgitate it. I thought you’d find it handy if I provided a summary, though. In a nutshell, the 5 most effective things to do are:
- layer up with clothing
- move your body
- choose ingredients that have a warming effect (healthy fats and spices)
- warm your food (110F-118F), and your crockery
- drink herbal teas & cacao
If you’d like to read more detail, here is my selection of articles that between them cover most angles:
– Esme Stevens on the Best of Raw Food who summaries tips from research done in Alaska
– Shakaya Leone on Earth Empress who has a pretty comprehensive list of foods and tips
– Julie Mitsios of Conscious Choice on the thermal and energetic properties of food
– Karen Knowler, the Raw Food Coach, on the mindset and psychological factors
– MahaNomi’s video – humorous, non-neurotic advice to move (dance), eat soup, & drink herbal teas
And finally, the thing that most motivates me about the whole issue is: both animals in the wild, and animals in domesticity eat similar food all year round. Aren’t humans odd?