Staying nourished and warm with living foods.
It tends to be far easier to eat an abundance of raw food in the summer time when all you really crave is salad, smoothies and fresh fruit fruit. When Autumn begins to roll in and the mornings are crisp and fresh and the days begin to shorten, you tend to crave hearty soups and heavier foods that will warm and comfort you.
Chinese and Indian medicine both speak of the importance of warming food in the diet. These ancient medicines follow guidelines that stoke the digestive fire and use heating herbs and spices, as well as predominately cooked food, to create balance in the body and ward off illness and infection. Chinese and Indian practitioners determine an individual’s health in terms of their very own unique make up or constitution, and create a diet, exercise and wellness regime based around the elements of earth, fire, air and water, that takes into account every aspect of that person from their breakfast to their digestion to the colour of their tongue. These medicines are centuries old and rich in both knowledge and practice.
Raw food comes from an entirely different line of thought. Raw foodists focus on the energy that is contained in living food and the way in which raw food is abundant in enzymes that enable food to be digested by itself, rather than robbing the body of enzymes or energy otherwise needed for digestion. Raw food is seen as being specifically medicinal and life-giving in itself- it is rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants- nutrients that are not tampered with nor obliterated when heated or cooked. Raw foodists claim to get sick very little, if at all, have abundant energy, excellent sleep patterns, strong digestion and vitality in general.
With these varied approaches to health, all one can really do is take all of the information on board and then see what works best for one’s own body and constitution. You certainly don’t need to eat 100% raw food all year around. It is wonderful to be able to listen to what feel right for you.
It is also great to keep in mind though if you are striving to keep up a good intake of raw food in your diet all year round, the best trick is to add plenty of warming spices into your food to give you that internal fire. Spices such as chilli and cayenne are obviously wonderful, but other warming spices include cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, turmeric, cardamon, paprika and more. Try playing around with these spices in your food and see how they feel for you. You can also experiment with recipes that are mostly raw but have the option of being served warm or at room temperature. Try this delicious pumpkin soup that is mostly raw but still warm and hearty too.
Vibrant Warm Pumpkin Soup-
The ingredients in this soup are predominantly raw but the pumpkin is steamed so that when you blend the soup, the result is a beautiful warm soup with the added vitality of all the fresh raw ingredients- it is perfect for winter!
- 2 cups of steamed pumpkin (reserve one cup of the hot water to blend)
- 1 red capsicum
- 2 tomatoes
- 5 sun dried tomatoes plus ½-1 cup of the soak water
- 2 tablespoons tamari
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon curry
- 1 teaspoon Italian herbs
- 1/4 bunch basil
- 1 inch piece of ginger
- 1 spring onion
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- 1 fresh date
- ½ an avocado.
Blend all ingredients together until smooth and creamy using enough of the warm water from the steamed pumpkin to reach your desired consistency.