With cold days and long, dark nights, you might be thinking that raw veganism is only a summer trend. But don’t be fooled; raw veganism is completely do-able 365 days a year! Some days may be easier than others — listen to your body and follow your intuition. If maintaining a raw diet is your goal, going mostly raw (50 – 80 percent) in the winter can still make you feel great. In other words, it’s definitely possible! Here are some tips to keep your raw diet going in the cold months:

1. Buy seasonal produce.

It’s always best to shop for seasonal produce and incorporate those foods into meals; winter is no exception! Root vegetables mark their debut in the winter so stock up on turnips, sweet potatoes, and carrots. Your body craves carbs more than ever in the cold weather, so feed it what it wants with starchy vegetables; think buttercup squash and delicata squash. And, don’t forget satisfying greens! Kale, kale, kale, and more kale along with collard greens, broccoli, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts are also great all day.  Finally, quench that sugar craving with delicious dates, grapefruit, kiwi, mandarin oranges, clementines, oranges, pears, and tangerines. Make sure to include a variety of winter produce into your weekly meals to reap the health benefits, which, in turn, will help keep that immune system thriving during cold and flu season!

2. Remember; raw doesn’t always mean cold.

Before you do anything else, take that salad you prepared for lunch out of the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature before you eat it. When you’re chilly, room temperature can make a big difference. Also, it’s totally acceptable within raw standards to heat food up to 118 degrees Fahrenheit/ 48 degrees Celsius. Up to and below these temperatures, nutrients and enzymes are still preserved. If you choose to do so, you’ll have a dish just warm-to-the-touch and ready to be devoured. Feel free to mix and match as well — add a little cooked food to an otherwise raw meal (top a kale salad with some rice or steamed veggies!) Another great way to heat up food without actual cooking is through spices. Not only do spices such as ginger, cayenne, cumin, curry, cinnamon, cloves, and allspice give dishes an extra kick of heat, they also boost flavor. Why not even add a little to juices and smoothies? Never be afraid to experiment. Likewise, get crafty in the kitchen, warm plates and silverware before serving your meal for a little warmth.

3. Consider both the mind and body.

To keep your mind energy going, think ahead and be prepared with dehydrated snacks at hand. Flax crackers, raw granola, cookies, veggie crisps, and raw breads all provide little bursts of energy throughout the day to curb hunger and keep you feeling fresh. That being said, also try to manage a weekly exercise routine. Exercise is a great way to warm up quickly and will send you out of any winter funk via a flood of endorphins.

For more information on  guidelines to a raw diet, check out Eating Raw 101: the essential raw vegan food groups!

To get started on that meal prep, browse through One Green Planet’s delicious raw recipes — who says you can’t enjoy soup in the winter, too?! Have soup until your heart’s desire with these mouth-watering recipes for raw vegan soup!

References: 15 Tips for Eating Raw in the Winter/Raw Vegan Power

Image source: 5 Myths (and 5 Truths) About Raw Food Diets