Brrrrrr! The leaves are falling and my tomato plants are freezing! The changing of seasons brings with it cold nights, shorter days, and for many of us, cravings for comfort foods that warm us from the inside out.
I’ll be honest, as a raw foodie at heart this is something that I’ve struggled with for years. And it’s not because I’m so dogmatic about living up to some “food label.” I just prefer most foods in their natural state and I “cook” better with a blender, knife and cutting board. But most of all I just love the way I feel when I’m being powered by living foods.
But as a resident of beautiful Colorado and having an Ayurvedic constitution of Vata, learning to incorporate warming comfort foods into my green routine has been a must.
We often hear from cleansers, who also do not live in a warm tropical environment, that eating a big kale salad or drinking a cold green smoothie is hard this time of year. Instead they find themselves craving their old stand-by comfort foods – things like waffles, pasta, mashed potatoes, and fried wontons.
Is this true for you?
Once it gets cold outside it’s natural to gravitate towards heavier, more warming foods. Historically we needed more sustenance to helps us survive the long cold winter. Plus, according to Ayurveda – the science of life (Ayur = life, Veda = science or knowledge), our digestive fire is stronger during the colder months, making it easier for us to process heavier, more filling foods.
Recently I’ve been asked what I eat during the fall and winter months to stay warm and grounded, while staying true to my 80:20, and so below are my favorite ways to stay balanced and vibrant during the colder months.
What do you crave as the seasons change? Try these tips and let me know your thoughts in the comment section below.
With love and cayenne kisses,
5 Tips for Staying Vibrant All Year Long
1. Enjoy homemade soups: One of my favorite winter soups is the simple and versatile Chickpea Miso Soup. It’s 100% soy-free and 100% delicious.
Another all-time cleanser favorite is our Curried Carrot Soup. Not only is this soup easy to whip up, the blend of spices that make up curry are also very warming and healing to the body.
2. Eat nature’s bountiful fall harvest: I love sweet potatoes, pumpkins and winter squash such as butternut and acorn. Although we recommend keeping pumpkin and squash off of our plates during the 2-week Conscious Cleanse due to their high starchiness, these vitamin C rich foods are a nutritious part of our 80:20 lifestyle! I love to toss roasted sweet potatoes over a big bed of raw greens. The heat from the veggies helps to wilt the greens making a delicious but warm salad.
Another perfect-for-fall soup is our Creamy Pumpkin Sage Soup. This soup is loaded with fiber so it can help keep your tummy full and your immune system happy!
3. Spice it up: A cold green smoothie for breakfast on cool crisp morning can leave you chilled to the bone. That’s why I like to drink them at room temperature, being sure to avoid frozen fruit and instead focusing on what’s in season, like fresh pears and apples.
Also, the addition of herbs and spices can give your food warmer properties. Add cinnamon or ginger to a green smoothie or spice up your soups with garlic or a teaspoon of cayenne pepper to really get your digestive fire burning bright.
4. Get friendly with gluten-free grains: Gluten-free grains can make for hearty, warming meals that fill you up without bogging you down. Enjoy a bowl of hot Simple Breakfast Porridge (in our book page 239) for a warm start to the day. Buddha bowls are another fun way to get a lot of nutrient dense foods in one meal. One of my favorite versions is our Millet Buddha Bowl, but you could also play and make your own variations with quinoa and lightly steamed veggies.
5. Mix and match: This time of year I like to mix and match my cooked foods with my raw foods. Try lightly steaming or roasting your veggies before you toss them into your salad. It’s also good to find new favorite stand-ins for your favorite non-vibrancy foods. If you love mashed potatoes, try our Cauliflower Mashers. Love a big kale salad but want something hot? Try it sautéed in our Sesame Asian Kale Salad.