Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Seasonal eating

I attended a raw food potluck event last night that featured Dorit. She has written many books and is well known to the raw food community. She spoke on raw eating during the winter season.

Many people recommend herbs and spices that warm the system: ginger, cloves, garlic, cayenne pepper, to name a few. I once worked with a nutritionist and author, Hale Baycu Shatz who taught me to eat according to the season. In the winter, root vegetables are in abundance.

As a resident of chilly New England, I was wondering whether I would remain raw with winter approaching. As friends would inquire about my progress (over 100 days eating living foods), I would answer that I kept making my decision to remain raw on a daily basis. I might let go once the cold weather was constant.

This last week the temperatures dropped and on Sunday it actually snowed (didn't stick). If you saw or heard about the Patriots' game, then you're aware of the snow. Yet, I continued to eat raw living foods. I haven't been cold and haven't desired hot foods.

I have had some sips of tea. And I do boil and steep my tea. Yet, it is not a staple of my diet. Living foods are.

What I heard Dorit say is that external circumstances do not have power over individual decisions. I have the power. I'm in control. I can use the coldness of the weather to alter my choice or not.

She gave some great suggestions about being with the weather. Surprisingly I had already put into effect some of those very ideas. She recommended changing colors, going from the cool light colors and fabrics of summer to dark and heavy colors of winter. I had already transitioned by changing something as simple as the sheets on my bed.

I liked her observation of how animals behave during the winter. Many hibernate. They slow done their activities and function solely during daylight hours. She suggested that we consider hibernating too in the sense of going inward and being with oneself. Also, we might rise at day break and go to bed at dusk.

She recommended self care that allowed for introspection and nourishment. Massages, saunas, baths, yoga, meditation.

Her approach is to adopt a raw food lifestyle, not just a raw food plan. This makes sense to me.

One other thought she reinforced was how language shapes us. We can use language to emphasize the cold or emphasize the warmth, emphasize powerlessness or emphasize personal power. Do I tell myself that I can't possibly eat this cold salad or do I reflect on taking in the sunshine from this produce?

I drove two friends to the event and on the way home we talked about Dorit's message. An epiphany came to me. Rather than raw foods, I'm into living foods, much better term. I have power to choose my words and thus shape my experience.

This season, I eat living foods. I experience the change in light and temperature and respond accordingly. I am alive!

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