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How to “Warm” up your raw food dishes

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Do you eat a high raw diet or do you go all the way 100% raw?  If so, you might understand what I am about to share.   When I was first introduced to the raw food diet, I went 100% raw overnight while I was living in Alaska and of course I started my new adventure as Fall was approaching.  As I was educating myself on this journey,  I wasn’t prepared on how to handle the chills that could come from eating raw foods in a cold climate or that it was even an issue. I never gave much thought to the ramifications of not ingesting hot foods.

I remember preparing my raw dinner filled with fresh veggies that just came from the fridge, putting on layers of clothing, wrapping up in a blanket (sometimes 2) and snuggling down in front of  the fire with my raw delights. I could feel the heat penetrate through the blankets and warm my back, I would then rotate making sure to heat up all sides of my body.  I was a living human rotisserie!

In between bites I could see my breath, my nose was cold and my blanket kept getting in the way as I tried to bring forkfuls of salad to my lips.  After dinner I would jump into a hot bath and soak the frost away as I was sipping a warm tea.

Aaah, this is the life!  haha  I kid you not,  I was a permanent over sized goose-bump for a solid year!  Shoot even my goosebumps had goosebumps!  Forget wearing socks to bed,  mukluks and parkas became the new lingerie for me. I share much of that with great humor but in all honesty being cold became a way of life.  I am sure living in Alaska didn’t help matters either.  But as time went on and I became more and more educated about eating a high raw food diet,  I started to some pick up tricks of the trade.

Warming Tricks:

  • A raw food diet doesn’t mean that you can only eat cold food.  You can warm food up to 115 F  and it will still be classed as living.  Any hotter and you will destroy vital enzymes.
  • Warm up your plates beforehand.
  • Eat foods at room temperature. When you want to eat food that is chilling in the fridge, take food out 30 minutes before you want to eat it and consume at room temp.  You can also use a dehydrator to warm your meals.
  • Run around the block, do 10 push-ups, take a sauna, steam bath, whirl-pool, hot bath, dance, put on extra clothing…do what you need to to stop the shivering long enough to get the fork to your mouth without stabbing yourself!

Add spices to your food that have a warming effect:

  • Cinnamon -antiseptic , excellent digestive tonic and warms people who are always cold.  Some kinds of cinnamon can verge on spicy, such as Vietnamese cinnamon
  • Garlic-Improves circulation, helps remedy the common cold and makes you more resistant to infection.
  • Ginger-Antioxidant, improves circulation to all parts of bod.
  • Cayenne-rich in Vitamin C, helps relieve chills, coughs and congestion.  Sprinkle between socks and shoes to keep warm feet.
  • Curry powders or pastes (they get their heat from peppers)
  • Coriander – it’s warming, with citrus notes. Comes from  the cilantro plant.
  • Cumin (warm, not hot)
  • Mustard, powder or prepared
  • Paprika is also a member of the pepper family, which can be mild to hot, or smoked
  • Turmeric – mild, warm spice used often in Indian cooking
  • Many other common spices (cloves, allspice, fennel, etc) can convey a subtle heat
  • Raw garlic -be careful it can be very “hot”

Warming foods:

Hot peppers (hot spicy foods are stimulants which raise bod temp by increasing circulation), radish sprouts, ginger, oats, carob, sea veggies, dark greens,  heating spices, dehydrated foods (calorie dense foods tend to be warming),  fatty seeds (pumpkin, hemp, flax) and nuts.  Also carrots, squash, coconut, dates, cayenne pepper, parsnips, walnuts, garlic, red pepper, sprouted legumes, pine nuts, chili peppers, and onions.



6 thoughts on “How to “Warm” up your raw food dishes

  1. Danielle says:


    So I know that you can slightly warm your food, but I’m having issues finding recipes like chickpea curry or a lentil stew, that’s raw. I don’t know enough how to adjust vegan recipes to raw. Can you help me out??? Please, I’m dying for a slightly warm bowl of chili or curry!!

    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Danielle, I don’t have any recipes posted for a chili or curry. I am in the midst of closing down a house and will soon be back home in Oregon. Once there I can resume recipe creating but until then, I don’t have a kitchen. :) Have a great week, amie sue

  2. Erin says:

    Hi, I am wondering if you can clarify something for me. Here you say that warming food above 115 degrees will destroy the enzymes. Yet in another section on your website where you address temperature, you say that food must be warmed above 140 degrees to destroy enzymes. I am wondering if I missed something…Thanks!!

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