What Part Of The Country Is Best For Thriving On A Raw Food Diet?
I was wondering what part of the country you reside in.
I was fortunate to spend a year and California and I found it very easy to eat raw food all year round.
However, now I am back in Colorado and find it much more difficult during the winter months.
Any suggestions for the best places to live on a raw diet?Andrew's Answer:
I've lived all over the world in both hot and cold climates while eating a low fat raw vegan diet
, and traveled quite a bit to other areas. I've found it completely doable everywhere.
I began eating primarily raw when I was living in upstate New York in 2005, and when I started eating a 100 percent raw diet in 2007 I was living In Connecticut.
All these places face harsh Northeastern winters.
In 2010 I quit my job and moved to Southeast Asia, where I happily skipped two winters and enjoyed the fantastic fruit of the tropics.
A few months ago I returned to Connecticut, but this is just a pit stop.Can You Be A Raw Foodist Anywhere?
My experience has convinced me that it is indeed easier to live a healthy lifestyle
in warm climates, however, I don't think this is primarily a raw food issue, and it is something you can overcome.
You can't grow superior-quality fruits and vegetables in your garden in northern areas for six to nine months a year, and the cold winds certainly do their best to keep you from doing healthy exercise outside.
If it's cold, you probably won't be doing the sun bathing you need to get enough vitamin D
, and some northern areas might not get enough vitamin D for a large part of the year, reducing the benefit of sunbathing.
And certainly, your body temperature drops a few degrees on a raw diet, which is a boon in summer and during exercise when overheating is a significant issue, but a bit of an annoyance in winter.
However, if you know how to stay warm in the winter on a raw diet
, you can certainly live anywhere in perfect health. Superior Climates
So, with the understanding that you can make a raw diet work anywhere, are some areas better than others?
The things I look for are high temperatures and annual sunshine hours, good fruit availability and quality, and a large amount of public space and park lands, which both clean the air and provide you with a playground.
The first two criteria are met along much of the southern border of the United States, from California
to Florida. The third varies by region and municipality.
Other concerns are a matter of preference. Some people love the ocean. I happen to enjoy being near mountains.
Some people love the beauty, reduced population density, and improved air quality of the country, while others don't like being away from the culture, concentration of like-minded people, and transportation networks that only dense urban areas possess.
I talk about this country/urban dichotomy in this article I wrote about the downsides and upsides of the tropics
.Specific Places In The United States
There are several hubs of raw foodists in the US. The first is in Southern Florida
around the Homestead/Miami areas. It's the most tropical area inside the continental US, and a wide variety of fruit grows there. The sunshine is also nice, but some people dislike the heat and humidity. The second is in Southern Texas
, centered in the cities of Huston and Austin. Warmer weather and nice fruit growing possibilities are the main draws. As we head further west we run into the desert states
, which can grow interesting low-water fruits like dates as well as good citrus due to irrigation and water conservation strategies.
I've known several raw foodists who have settled in small desert cities like Taos, New Mexico and love it there. Much of Southern California is hospitable from a weather and fruit perspective
, but it's common to hear people living their complain that the culture is not as progressive as the northern section of the state. Further north things start to get colder and more rainy, but there are surprising number of raw foodists in Oregon and Washington State
, where the summers are brief but stunning beyond compare. Anyone who has climbed Mt. Rainier can testify to the amazing parkland in the area. Finally, we hop over the Pacific to Hawaii
, where the temps are unbeatable, sunshine abounds, and the volcanic soils seem to give the fruit something extra special.
Many raw foodists live in Hawaii, but many stick to the more rural areas and farms. The Less-Warm Options:
If you merely want a bit more sunshine and warmth, but not the full-on hot summers of the tropics, consider Georgia, Alabama, and the surrounding Southern States on the eastern seaboard. They don't have a thriving raw food scene, but they do have milder winters and great fruit-growing prospects.
The cost of living also tends to be considerably lower than in northern climates.Bottom line:
You can be healthy on a good raw food diet anywhere. Tour around and see what appeals to you.
Figure out how to be healthy on a raw diet with my book, Raw Food Weight Loss And Vitality