Raw Diet in Winter
In the first lesson we will look at what is the optimal diet for people and why the term a raw diet can be misleading.
Often when people are first introduced to the term a raw diet, they assume that it means to just eat typically cooked food, without cooking it. Immediately they begin to ask:
How do I eat raw cereals / legumes / potatoes, etc?
To resolve this confusion, I am inviting you on an imaginary walk through nature.
Before our walk, let’s acknowledge a couple of things:
- each species is attracted to its natural food in its raw, unprocessed form
- each species is equipped with its anatomy to obtain and digest its natural food in an efficient and relatively easy way
With this foundation of understanding, we may embark on our imaginary walk.
We come across:
- A rabbit – does the sight of a rabbit make you salivate and do you get a desire to tear it apart? Or rather, are you attracted to pet the rabbit?
A wolf would have a different answer to yours, but since you do not belong to a pack of wolves, you do not have the same appetite or nutritional needs. Wolves and similar predators are far different from humans in their anatomical and physiological characteristics that dictate their optimal food.
The features of natural carnivores are:
See in the dark for the sake of efficient hunting,
Don’t see colors, unlike the fruit-eating species,
Have claws and canines for easy prey killing,
Drink blood before they eat their victim,
Have short bowels so that high-fat and high-protein fiberless foods could pass quickly,
Have the ability to synthesize vitamin C because they evolved on a diet that lacks this vitamin.
I hope that we have established significant differences between the biological nature of humans and carnivores, so we can check out our next potential food.
- A field of grains – Are you attracted to collecting grains and eating them? What would happen if you tried that? Sticky gluten or similar sticky proteins in grains would just form something like a chewing gum in your mouth, which you would spit out.
However, birds would have a different experience because birds also have a different anatomical structure of the digestive system. Unlike humans, birds have an organ before the stomach, called gizzard that allows digestion of raw grains. Humans are not equipped with this organ and cannot digest grains without processing them. Just having to process something to make it edible, indicates that it is not our natural food.
The features of grains are:
- Do not have vitamin C,
- Are not the fruits of the plants, but the seeds of the plants,
- Contain antinutrients with which plants naturally defend their seeds,
- They are full of hard-to-digest starch and sticky proteins such as gluten and avenins.
So if we have passed the grains as well, we go further in our walk and reach the next point.
- A grass lawn – if it is neat and tidy, it will most likely attract you to stretch yourself on it and watch the clouds. 🙂
But it is very unlikely that you will get the urge to eat the grass, and your anatomy wouldn’t help you in that regard either.
Notice how horses, cows, sheep, and similar ruminants all have long necks that allow them to lower their mouths down to the grass. In addition, they have four stomachs that allow them to digest cellulose foods. You will agree, people have completely different anatomies, and it is natural that we do not see grass as food.
Granted, grass has been put down as an inedible option, so we go on and get to…
- A field of root vegetables – unless you already knew this was a field of root vegetables, it would be hard for you to find this out, since all those roots are not visible above the surface of the Earth. And even if you knew, you would hardly be attracted to dig those roots out and eat them.
Unlike you, a pig for an instance, would cherish this game of digging roots. But even if you dug out a root, what do you think? Would it really attract you to eat it, covered with earth and without attractive shape and color?
You can find far better…
And so we passed the roots and we finally reach…
- A fruit tree – imagine a tree of your favorite fruit. Imagine standing in front of this tree, looking at its treetop. Fresh and ripe fruits are visible among the green leaves and you can almost taste the sweet juicy flavors.
You are probably aware that children feel real excitement at the view of a fruit tree, or better yet, the opportunity to climb a tree and enjoy its sweet fruits.
The evidence that you are a fruit eater is:
- Your anatomy gives you the perfect opportunity to climb a tree relatively easily,
- The dexterity of your hands is ideal for picking fruits,
- The dental formula of your teeth is perfectly suited to bite on fruits,
- Your long and curvy intestines allow easy passing of only foods rich in water and fiber,
- All of your cells prefer simple sugars as fuel,
- High water content in fruit hydrates your body cells,
- Fruit provides enjoyment when eaten as it is a nutritional support to your body without harmful ingredients and metabolic end products.
And so we have come to the very food that attracts us in its natural form, gives us pleasure and the necessary nutrients. In addition to fruits, we can also be attracted to young, tender greens, as well as nuts and seeds.
As for the nuts and seeds, we can notice that they are found in shells that are not so easy to open. As many nuts and seeds we would get with the time and effort we would be willing to devote to opening them with bare hands, is an appropriate amount to eat. In the presence of our preferred food – fruit – which requires minimal effort and time to eat, nuts and seeds would play a small role in our diet.
I hope this lesson has taken you a step further in understanding what is the optimal diet for people.
- It sure does! Yet still… what about the saying One should eat the food of the area where one lives?
Let’s address this topic in the next lesson.
Usually, summer is the easier time for a raw diet. And there is a good reason for this: warm and sunny weather in itself requires more hydration, and fruits and vegetables are plentiful. But when winter comes, usually so does the desire for some good old home-cooked food. But it doesn’t have to prevail! When you learn a few simple tricks and steps, winter can be just as good a time for the optimal diet.
- Winter selection of fruits and veggies
If you just get well organized during December, when it is the peak of the persimmon season, a delicious fruit that can form the basis of a diet for a while, you can get supplies for at least 2 months ahead.
Check out different varieties of citruses and get high quality tangerines, oranges, kiwis, pineapples, etc. Citrus fruits are full of Vitamin C which plays an important role in the vitality and health of the body.
Bananas are easily available in most places. Find your favorite variety and buy green (yellow skin) bananas in bulk so that they can ripen slowly and gradually at room temperature. With some planning you can easily have ready supplies of delicious food.
Dates are also relatively easy to access. Make sure you are buying fresh, not candied, dates. Enjoy this sweet fruit which makes a great source of calories in a small package.
Butternut squash has a sweet taste and yet it is too starchy to eat in its raw form. Fortunately, we have a solution! Cook the butternut squash without cooking by simply freezing and thawing it. Freezing leads to starch cell membranes to tighten up, and then defrosting results in them bursting open. After thawing, you can make a warm butternut squash pudding by simply blending it in the blender. This makes a delicious pudding, that can even be warm if you let it blend long enough to warm up a bit in the process.
Lettuce is usually available in winter. Find your favorite variety, add some guacamole or a similar dressing and enjoy your salad.
Room temperature of food
During winter, pay attention to planning your food supplies in advance. A good tactic is to buy food at least one day in advance and leave it at room temperature before consuming it, long enough for food to warm up to room temperature. It is a common mistake to buy food in the winter at a cold farmers’ market and then eat it cold, which will only make you feel freezing.
Fortunately, this can be easily avoided by simply buying food in advance and keeping it at room temperature.
- Warm dishes
- Hot tea
If you need something warm, warm water flavored with some herb, flower or fruit, could be good for you without compromising your diet.
Be careful when choosing teas. Pure herbal teas, or more precisely herbal infusions like hibiscus, lemongrass, rooibos, chamomile, etc… are the best option because of their low content or absence of tannins, caffeine and oxalic acid.
In contrast, black / white / yellow / green tea is actually the real tea made in these four different colors by thermally processing the leaves of the plant Camellia Sinensis, which has a toxic effect on the body.
Fruit teas are made from dried fruit. As industrial dried fruit is dipped in glucose syrup and sulfur, the safest option is to dry the fruit yourself and make tea from the same.
So, herbal teas are the best option. Another warning would go in the direction of tea bags containing toxic substances, so it is best to buy teas that are not in tea bags.
- Instead of looking for a warming effect from food, exercise
Physical activity is the only way for the body to warm itself with its own energy.
Include exercise in your daily routine and enjoy all the benefits of physical activity, including better blood circulation and warming up the body.
- Instead of looking for the warming effect of food, wear multiple layers of clothing
Multiple layers of thinner clothing are more effective than a single thicker layer of clothing, because air is retained in between the layers of clothing and this contributes to staying warm.
- Going to warmer places
Consider replacing a typical summer holiday, when it is nice and sunny in the Northern Hemisphere, by going to warmer areas in winter. Discover the beauty of the tropics – sunny weather and tropical flavors.
- Okay… there seems to be a way to get on a raw diet in winter. But what should I do in summer when barbecues are everywhere?
Hehe… Maybe winter has never been a problem, but rather our perception of how to stand the cold weather and habits. As for summer and summer barbecues, let’s hope they will be banned once by law (there are strong reasons for this, like forcing the population to breathe cancerous ingredients), and until then, simply stay away from those circumstances and enjoy the juicy summer flavors.
But let’s get to the next lesson and explain the importance of the term calories.