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Eating raw foods in a cold climate

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by David Wolfe

I had the privelege of visiting many exotic locations in my life and several this year, but Iceland was certainly the most unique

The energy of Iceland is like an Arctic Hawaii. Iceland has to be one of the most geothermally active locations in the world. There are volcanos, steam vents, hot springs, geisers, and more.

The famous geisers were one of the best sites I saw during my 5-day stay. One of them exploded with regularity every 2 to 5 minutes. The water was boiling hot. The ground is so hot in that area that the Icelanders cook bread in the Earth!

One of the major attractions for me in Iceland are the country’s many hot springs. The blue lagoon near the main airport in Keflavik was so incredible, I went back twice. The water is so rich with minerals that it is milky white. Next time, I plan on hiking out to some of the more exotic remote springs I heard rumors about.

Iceland is the warmest Arctic country in the world. The ocean currents keep temperatures within reason. I arrived in early December and the temperature was mild, hovering between 1 degree Celsius and –10 degrees Celsius. The real challenge is the wind. The wind chill factor is much greater in Iceland because there are so few trees.

Iceland’s weather certainly exposed me to some of the coldest temperatures I have experienced since I was a child. However, compared to past experiences, I found that my resistance to cold weather had increased dramatically after years of eating raw. In even the coldest weather, I was able to be warm in a t-shirt, a sweater, a long coat (down past my knees), a pair of gloves , a pair of jeans, a normal set of socks, and some hemp boots. No hat, no scarf.

Not only that, I found that I did not need food to stay warm. I hardly ate any food in Iceland, because there was not much to eat! I did manage to find a vegetarian restaurant that served me a nice salad one evening. I was the first raw-fooder they had ever encountered. From what I understand, there are two vegetarian restaurants in Reykjavik. Not bad for a city of 180,000.

If I did not feel cold in one of coldest climes of the Earth, why is it then that many raw-fooders claim to be cold, or get cold easily in even moderate climates like we have in California?

Typically, when one begins a raw-food diet, one tends to feel colder for several reasons.

What to do and eat to keep yourself warm in winter.

Eat foods that are warming, such as

Home-grown sprouts are also an excellent winter food as they provide freshness to a diet that mostly consists of food that has been picked several days to several weeks before. Fresh plants contain very delicate plant fats called sterols and sterolins, which disappear after 6 to 8 hours once the plant is picked. These are immune system building compounds.

Another common concern is the “naturalness” of eating food that is shipped in from other areas. Obviously, it is ideal to eat as closely to the fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds that correspond to the location where you live. To accomplish this more closely, next year, plan your winter in advance (like a squirrel) and store nuts, squashes, fruits (heirloom apples store well), seeds, Nature’s First Food, raw grass powders, etc. to take you through the winter. It is not necessary to eat exactly what grows in your climate as long as you are eating what is seasonal (for example: eating watermelons in the middle of winter is less than ideal, however, eating salad and nuts in the winter is great).

Remember that the winter months are the months of hibernation, reflection, and rest. Follow the wisdom of the seasons. Enjoy the snow! Have a blessed winter solstice.

See you in Iceland!

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