Raw Food 21 Day Winter Challenge

by Susan on January 31, 2010

I am excited. If you have been hanging around here for a bit, you know I am not consistently a 100% raw foodist. During the summer? Yes. Because it is easy to be 100%. Local produce is plentiful, the weather is warm, we crave salads and fruit. But when the temps dip below zero in Minnesota, there is 2 plus feet of snow on the ground, and you can hear the wind howling outside, a plate of fruit and salad just doesn’t cut it.

If you browse the site, you will find a lot of heartier, raw food recipes that I use in the winter. But I also give myself leeway to eat more cooked food. As the winter progresses, I tend to allow myself greater quantities of cooked food which can degenerate into eating food that is not good for me, cooked or raw. My body says stop, and I listen, and get inspired.

But why am I excited? Tomorrow, February 1st, I am going to start a 21 day full raw winter “challenge”.  Websters defines challenge: “to arouse or stimulate especially by presenting with difficulties.” I guess it fits because eating a raw diet in the middle of a cold, dark winter can be difficult. But doing this challenge should be stimulating and I am hoping it will arouse a new passion for raw in the dead of winter.

I believe that it will also give me new insight into how to over come the challenges presented and find new ways to share them with you. Mostly, I am just looking forward to how I will feel. I will be writing about this every day for the 21 days on the 21 day tab that you will find at the top of the blog starting tomorrow.

As for today, preparation includes cleaning out the refrigerator, restocking using the pantry list, starting sprouts and soaking grains and making some of my staples (flat breads, nut butters, etc.) Creating more recipes for this challenge is going to be fun and exciting. I invite you to follow along or even join me as I walk through the snow covered pines, raw.

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

bitt February 1, 2010 at 12:01 am

hooray for raw food in the winter! it was tough for me with the initial onset of winter but I’ve been doing much better since I reset my intentions. i wish you the best!

Dot D. February 1, 2010 at 6:16 am

I think that this is a fine idea. I will try to proceed along with you. I’m waiting for my Excalibur to be delivered any day now, so I’m excited to begin! Best of luck and I look forward to your blogs each day.

Michal February 1, 2010 at 6:43 am

Amen to that! I do something similar. I tell myself thats its cold, and that I can eat cooked foods. And then im eating peanut butter crunch bars from my work. Oy! This sounds like a good idea :)

Carla February 1, 2010 at 8:30 am

This is so exciting! I am faced with the same challenges where I live and I can not wait to see and sample the new recipes along with you!

Caleb February 1, 2010 at 9:37 am

Good luck. I agree, summer is definitely easier, but warm food cravings kick in big time in the winter. It has been a colder winter here in Texas this year too, thus making it harder. I sadly admit too my coffee cravings are lisping back in, but still managing to keep it to only 3 times a week or less most of the time.

Diane February 1, 2010 at 10:50 am

So far I haven’t been able to get my head (or my stomach) around all raw in winter, I tend to overdo it with nuts for sure, but I’ll be interested to see what you come up with. We’ve been going to a local raw food cafe more frequently, and they serve some of the raw soups at a slightly warm temp along with some warming herb teas, so that helps! I may be off my rocker because I’ve never fasted before and I know winter is not ideal for it, but for health reasons I’m thinking of doing a one week juice fast the first week in March. Last attempt I caved after about 20 hours, and part of that time I was sleeping – lol!

Kim February 1, 2010 at 11:06 am

Your post was just the inspiration I needed this morning, between Thanksgiving and now my eating habits have been on a steady decline. I recently purchased a vitamix and I have a good dehydrator that are begging to be used, but the weather has had me reaching for quick solutions for meals that are beginning to take their toll. I need some energy… I need some clean raw food. I will be following closely for the next few weeks to keep jazzed about cleaning up my diet. I love your posts and amazing recipes.

Mandi February 1, 2010 at 12:03 pm

Ironically enough, today I just started a 30 day raw challenge! I have been eating horribly the past few months and am in dire need of a serious cleanse. This is my first time committing to a 100% raw diet for any length of time, so if you have any tips, please share!

Julie Lynn February 1, 2010 at 12:10 pm

Good for you! I’m in the very same boat (only I’m starting a 90 day challenge – all raw). I’m so excited and am looking forward to feeling great! =) So, I’ll be checking in here to see how you are doing and cheering you on all that I can.

scherry valentine February 1, 2010 at 12:16 pm

I am so excited about this! I am going to follow you! I was told just yesterday by my new colonhydrotherapist that his raw food clientele are the sickest clients that he treats and that eating raw food in the winter in actually really bad for the body. He has 30 years experience and is advocating ayurveda and he even mentioned butter. He says eating seasonally is optimum. It made sense to my mind but not to my heart. I did not want to argue with him because he was clearly speaking from a place of ego with all of his qualifications, etc. So does warm food actually warm the body? Is raw food damaging to the body in winter? I am in total support of your challenge and can’t wait to hear what you experience each day! I am reading ANASTASIA right now, she lives in Siberia and she only eats raw food. I believe her.

Christa February 1, 2010 at 12:32 pm

I tried your banana tartlets and they are delicous. What can I do to keep the crust a little crustier? Mine are usually soggy.

Also where do you buy the forms for your sweets, or also the vertical stacking?

PS You have a fabulous website. Thank you so much!

Susan February 1, 2010 at 1:19 pm

I get the forms at my local cooking store. There are a lot of online stores you could check out if you don’t have anything local. As far as the crust goes, some of them are dehydrated, that might be a crust you like better. I like to do crusts that are not dehydrated sometimes so that people who don’t have dehydrators can still make them.

Patricia Robinett February 1, 2010 at 3:04 pm

my hands and feet were always cold when i ate cooked food. the first few years i was raw, i found it ‘enticing’ to think of eating a little nice warm/hot soup but i finally connected my cooked soup to lifelong poor circulation. so instead of cooking soup, now i blend cuke, celery, onion, carrot (as a base), add greens & some other vegetable(s) for flavor (and to cover lots of nutritional bases). sometimes i add seasonings if i find one interesting at the moment — herbs, curry, spicy peppers, etc. i’m eating far less salt now. am feeling comfortable this winter… but i don’t live in the snow.

Nancy Zare, WellnessWiz February 1, 2010 at 6:17 pm

You go girl! This is my first winter 100% raw. I’m amazed that it’s been relatively easy. So you’ve got my support.

Tressey February 8, 2010 at 9:58 pm

This is my first winter, in Illinois being all raw. I am loving it. I am not cold as I was previous years on a cooked diet. I even continue to go outside for a walk most days. The thermostat is set lower than normal and I have not had the need to wear tons of layers. I feel it could be due to improved circulation and continually feeding my cells hydrated foods. I wish you the best.

Sybil February 11, 2010 at 10:37 pm

YAY YAY and YAY! I live in Dallas TX and today we got TONS of snow…tons for us anyway. It has been harder to eat raw this winter as it has been a really cold winter. Add to that I took a tropical vacation at the end of last month and then coming back to this…I was starting to think I had S.A.D.! No more, I’ve given up coffee for now (doing a 21 day thing w. a friend) and even though I’ve slipped a few times, I’m finding ways to over come. Keep it up though you can sooo do this. BTW, this is by far one of my fav raw sites..awesome pics, great recipes, great content. KUTGW!

Kelly February 22, 2010 at 1:05 pm

Congrats! I just started on my raw journey a week ago and am about 50% raw consistently. I am loving every single minute of this! I love how much better I feel physically, and am amazed by how quickly my body has detoxed from the sugar.

Keep up the great work & I wish you all of my best!

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