... What to do when you crave something warm and comforting

Because raw food is usually cold and damp, it can be tough to find something that hits the spot during winter, especially for those who live in cold climates. If you are feeling the urge to eat warm or cooked food, listen to your body. During my pregnancy I realised that a 100% raw food diet wasn’t going to work, so I adapted. If eating some cooked food helps you get through the cooler months, so be it!

But there are ways to satisfy cravings for warmth and comfort while still maintaining a raw lifestyle. Here are 6 things you can do to get through the winter on a raw food diet.


1. Eat food straight from the dehydrator

If you’re a serious raw foodist, you’ll have a dehydrator. Although they are slower and much gentler than ovens, they do have a warming effect on food so try to time your meals around their dehydration time, and eat as soon as you hear that happy little PING! Raw breads and crackers are great straight from the dehydrator, and you can make them alongside a beautiful raw soup for a complete winter meal.

2. Avoid food straight from the fridge

A raw salad or smoothie can seem positively torturous straight from the fridge in winter. Take your food out of the fridge and allow it to come to room temperature before you eat it.This is a small thing but it makes a big difference.

3. Eat warming foods

According to Chinese medicine, all food can be classified according to its thermogenic properties, or its effect on the body. So certain foods have a dampening or drying effect, while others are cooling or warming (whether they are cooked or raw is usually irrelevant). During winter, eat foods that have a warming effect on the body. These include:

  • chives
  • onions
  • garlic
  • ginger
  • chilli
  • fennel

Many spices are also warming, so you can add these to your dishes to stimulate your body into warmth:

  • cinnamon
  • cayenne pepper
  • cloves
  • black pepper
  • coriander
  • nutmeg
  • caraway seeds

4. Heat up your plate or bowl

Your oven can still be useful! Heat up your serving crockery before you dish out your meal. It’s amazing what a difference it makes just to hold a nice warm bowl.

5. Raise your core temperature

It can help to warm the blood with a hot bath or a sauna. Once your core temperature is warm, eating a cool meal is less likely to have a chilling effect on your body. Maybe try eating in the bath, haha!

6. Have a flexible approach

If you’re not a hardline raw foodist, you can do the following for warmth and still enjoy a mostly raw lifestyle:

  • Drink a cup of herbal tea or hot water with lemon before a meal. This will warm you up, fill you up and stimulate your digestive process.
  • Add cooked quinoa, rice or lentils to a raw salad for a beautiful warming meal that also has textural contrast.
  • Keep your meals raw but heat your sauces and dressings, then add to your meal at the last minute.

How do you keep warm in the winter?