People often comment that it’s hard to eat salads or cold food in the wintertime. One of the keys is to eat room temperature food. Just as you claim a preference for hot food in order to warm you up…eating cold food can make you cold. Warming food to room temperature has several benefits.
Eating food at room temperature allows for better digestion and assimilation. When food is eaten cold, it’s a shock to the system (think of the reaction you have to eating something cold on a cold day). The body will warm the food first, costing you energy. Think about oils and how they become solid at colder temperatures. Solids have longer chains and stronger bonds. Coconut oil solidifies at about 76F. In order for the body to best assimilate it, it must become a liquid first. Only then can the molecules be broken down further.
Making a habit of taking food out of the refrigerator and allowing it to warm gives you time to get centered and will likely slow down your eating. How many of us get home from work and wolf down the first thing we see? Or how many still prepare dinner with thought, but eat too fast because we’re starving? If you’re starving, you might not be eating enough calories or the right combination of foods earlier in the day.
If you’re starving, and depending on what you’ve eaten earlier, you might want to have a piece of fruit “to tide you over” and then take your food out to warm up before eating dinner. This gives you time to exercise or meditate or talk to your partner and reconnect.
In a perfect raw life, we have a smoothie in the morning. This can warm the food just a little. If we’ve brought lunch, it’s okay to leave it out. Few foods are truly so perishable that they will spoil in your 70F office — if you’re lucky to have it that warm.
When you get home, decide what you’d like to have for dinner, take it out of the ‘fridge, and then enjoy enjoy your life a little. This is a great way to create “me time.” It’s also a healthy way to detach from food a little bit and to be more mindful of eating because you’re hungry rather than because you’re stressed, lonely, bored or because it’s dinner time.
Of course you can still warm food in the dehydrator and/or use warming spices to help generate heat from inside. Common spices include ginger, cumin, hot peppers, cinnamon, garlic and onions. Or you can drop and gimme ten pushups. That’ll warm you up!