As if pursuing a raw diet weren’t hard enough every day of the year, the winter holidays like to come in and make it that much harder. First it’s the cold–the nipping, biting frost that seems to dangle hot chocolate and fresh baked cookies before your nose every first step out the door. Then it’s the relatives–grandparents, cousins, aunts, and uncles bring not only their favorite cooked dishes to the table but also a diverse catalog of opinions with respect to your raw preferences. And even after you have stood your ground and made peace on the familial front, you realize that one glaringly obvious truth–you’re hungry! The holidays are tough, sure, but they are to be enjoyed, not filled with tension and unease. What you’re missing is some perspective. You don’t have to eat cooked food to feel the warmth of the holiday season. Here are tips to keeping your cool.
Incorporate Winter Flavors
One of the greatest ways to satisfy your winter palette is to incorporate flavors of the season. Add cinnamon, nutmeg, thyme, sage, ginger, or cloves to your dishes to accent the holiday spirit. You can turn something as ordinary as carrot juice into a holiday treat simply by adding pumpkin pie spice. Also be sure to pay attention to what’s in season. You should optimize use of these winter fruits and vegetables:
· Sweet Potatoes
You don’t have to eat cooked to feel the heat. Use cayenne pepper, tabasco, and chili powder in your soups and salads; incorporate dry-brushing into your daily routine; and alternate between hot and cold water during showers. On top of maintaining your exercise regimen, these will all help promote circulation in your system and ultimately make you feel warmer.
Avoid Common Pitfalls
Like everyone else trying to stave off the extra pounds during the season, try to avoid overeating nuts, dried fruits, fats, and sugars. They tend to be too dense for the system in larger quantities and can lead to you feeling sluggish. Start every meal with a big green salad to prevent overindulging later, and keep bite-sized vegetables around to nibble on during the day.
Plan for the Big Meals
The best way to avoid an unsatisfactory sit-down holiday meal with the family is to avoid going in blind. Make sure to plan ahead so you always have something on the table that you can eat. You’ll be satiated and won’t stand out like a sore thumb or distract from family bonding.
Share Your Grub!
Nothing quiets a skeptical bystander than a mouth full of deliciousness. If you’re eating with your family or friends, bring along a hearty, raw appetizer or main dish that rivals the table’s traditional, cooked counterparts. It’s a great way to share the love and avoid isolating yourself.
Don’t Talk About Food–It’s Boring
Another social no-no is to avoid bringing up your dietary preferences, either to convince others or to pose conversation. The holidays are a time of family, friends, and warm memories–not raw food, what you eat, why you eat it, why others should too, etc. Trade in the food-talk for some fireside nostalgia.
Tis’ the Season to be Raw
Don’t fret the season by virtue of your unique diet; that’s not what it is truly about. Enjoy this magical time of the year sans anxiety by keeping in mind these suggestions. Happy holidays!