Your whole food, plant-based life.

Raw Challenge 21 Wrap Up

At the end of January, I had an idea. I decided to do a raw food challenge for 21 days in the dead of winter. I eat almost 100% raw in the summer, it’s easy. I am  mostly raw in the winter and love trying new raw food recipes. But I have always given myself a little excuse room to indulge in foods I wouldn’t normally eat. This past holiday season, the excuse room got a little too big and I found myself really wanting to get back to 100% raw. Thinking that eating raw in the middle of the winter, the cold Minnesota winter, would be a great way to discover the challenges that we face when choosing this path, I made the commitment. I am extremely glad I did.

Not only did I get a great picture of what my triggers were, I regained my energy, and my mental clarity. My skin improved dramatically and I lost 10 lb. I released many cravings and discovered what my weak times and areas are. It was a great challenge to do and I highly recommend you do it.


A few of the tips I discovered:

1. In the winter we crave heartier food. We want food that is dense and warm. You can fulfill those desires with more nuts and grains.

2. Use your dehydrator like a crock pot. Toss your veggies in oil and seasoning in the morning, throw them in the dehydrator and by supper time you will have a warm, tasty dinner waiting for you.

3. Planning becomes much more important when doing raw in winter. You need to think ahead and plan your meals and snacks in advance so you have plenty of time to prepare them.

4. Become aware of what your habits are so that you can over come the bad ones. Sometimes all it takes is making sure you have some raw food with you to help you avoid the unhealthy alternatives.

5. Don’t let your food be sneaky. Look it directly in the face and think about the consequences of eating it. And them remind yourself how great you feel when you are eating healthy food. Be careful of slipping into complacency.

To see all of the posts for the Raw Challenge 21, click here –> Raw Challenge 21

It is day 22 and I have yet to even want anything not raw.

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  1. Ray Hacquard wrote on February 26, 2010

    What is a dehydrator?? Where can I get one?

  2. junglegirl wrote on February 24, 2010

    I guess everyone is different. When I first went raw it was the middle of winter in Washington state. Not the coldest place in the world, but it still snows. Not knowing anything about raw food (10 years ago, there were no blogs about this), I just put vegetables in the blender with warm water to bring it to room temp and lived on that for 4 months straight. I added a tbl or so of flax oil and avo maybe once or twice a week. I was cold but then my mom keeps her thermostat at 68 religiously. Says it’s better for health which I’m sure is true, but…! Eventually, I discovered that adding a few slices of ginger to whatever I’m eating makes an immediate difference and leaves me feeling warm to the core for at about 3 hours.

    • Susan wrote on February 24, 2010

      Honestly, there is a huge difference when you go below freezing for weeks on end. Temps like -20 get difficult to bear when completely raw. I actually keep my house at 62 all winter to battle the horrible heating bills we can have here. It goes down to 54 at night. For me, warming spices and ginger just can’t cut that kind of cold.

  3. Nancy Zare, WellnessWiz wrote on February 24, 2010

    Congratulations. Your post is very clear, no doubt from the cleanse you just completed. I appreciated your tips. This is my first raw winter and I’m glad that I’ve been able to maintain this food plan so far. I like warm soups, which I heat in a double boiler to keep from cooking. It’s like a savory green smoothie but warm.

  4. Brigitte wrote on February 24, 2010

    Hi Susan,
    Thank you so much! Your tips are fabulous! Winter is tough, even in California where it’s not that cold, but can be very wet and still dark way too early! Again, you’ve inspired me!

  5. Kelly Parr wrote on February 24, 2010

    Five powerful suggestions as we push through these cold months! I really like how you compared a crock pot to the dehydrator… good analogy! ….and number FIVE was a favorite too….. stare down… great visual! Next time when a big fat chocolate cookie tries to seduce me… I am going to look it square in the “chips” and have a stare down – and ME.. coming up the winner!
    Thanks for sharing this with us today…there is hope for us yet!

  6. Sarah wrote on February 24, 2010

    Thank you, Susan, I wish to try out the crock pot idea, along with the other ideas.

  7. Dot D. wrote on February 24, 2010

    Like Eco Mama, I too did not see the tab for the challenge, and wondered how you were coming along. Thought maybe you gave up early on…..tsk, tsk on my part. Now I’m going back to read it all. Thanks for posting your experience and giving such great tips and advice. I love this website!

  8. LoveFeast Table wrote on February 24, 2010

    I haven’t gone totally raw ever….however, I like to incorporate and substitute in healthy food habits. I like the idea of a dehydrator…hmmm. I’ll definitely visit again…I’d like to learn more….Also, your site is beautiful and the lead picture of the frost….so Minnesota. :) ~Chris Ann (the MN side of LoveFeast Table)

  9. Stefania (Ingredients for Life) wrote on February 23, 2010

    Such a simple tip but I’ve never thought of putting veggies (other than kale) in my dehydrator.

    Sounds like you had a great 21 days.

  10. Melissa wrote on February 23, 2010

    congrats on your winter raw challenge!! That’s really awesome and you have discovered a lot about yourself which even a greater accomplishment.


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