7

votes

What Problems/ Solutions Do you Have Living A Primal Life in Cold Weather Climates?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created March 06, 2012 at 5:31 PM

I currently live in Southwest Iowa and have been living primally for the last couple of years. But I often feel like, sometimes, advice given from other Paleo-subscribers is meant for warm-weather conditions. For instance, I find it pretty difficult for several months out of the year to get out in the sun-so I take Vitamin D supplements along with my salmon. What else do people do to deal with that issue? Also, I have more trouble wanting to get out and move around in the winter--how do you deal with that issue if you live in a cold weather climate? If you live in a colder area of the world, what problems do you have living the Primal lifestyle and what are your solutions? How would cavemen have dealt with this issue?

7c9f81d68c78de1a31eab9c91c17b4b8

on September 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

Ahhhh ha ha ha. Very funny about the frozen kettle bell.

4303a65967884e68bfae59817c227351

(1881)

on March 08, 2012
at 01:54 AM

Also being from CT, it definitely gets "colder" here than a lot of places. Although today and tomorrow may not be the best proof of that. I never used to be cold until I went paleo. Lost some weight, and now I know what all the thin people used to complain about.

4303a65967884e68bfae59817c227351

(1881)

on March 08, 2012
at 01:49 AM

You beat me to the post. I NEVER used to get cold in the winter. Even when it was cold. Lose a bunch of a weight, and now I know why all my skinny friends used to complain. haha.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on March 07, 2012
at 09:52 PM

Haha reminds of last month when i was in tights and miniskirt and my VLC friend was wearing snow pants. I could never be VLC again, snow pants aren't sexy enough for me.

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on March 07, 2012
at 09:22 PM

Feeling cold on VLC seems pretty common, but it turned me into a raging inferno. If I lived in an very cold environment like the Inuit I'd try to follow a similar diet, despite the downsides that made me abandon low carb. Maybe it is a genetic thing.

Ccacf7567273244733bc991af4ac42ed

(5198)

on March 07, 2012
at 08:22 PM

I'm not saying sleep for 6 months straight. But neither are our genes well-equipped to spend 6 hours awake every night after sunset. And if you're obese, well yes hibernation is the end-game.

7c9f81d68c78de1a31eab9c91c17b4b8

on March 07, 2012
at 07:40 PM

I vote for more time sleeping! Yay!

0382fa263de4c83328dc34a56e25437f

(4238)

on March 07, 2012
at 02:47 AM

+1 for knitting, braising, roots and kale. I have to force myself to drink water, too, that's a good point.

0382fa263de4c83328dc34a56e25437f

(4238)

on March 07, 2012
at 02:46 AM

+1 for dogs. I'd never leave my house if I didn't have an active breed dog to exercise.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on March 07, 2012
at 02:30 AM

When I visited Winnipeg, people there talked about Minneapolis winter like it was Miami.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on March 07, 2012
at 02:26 AM

Last year I was breaking a trail through 12 inches of snow. A year before that it was so cold that the coyotes were wandering around on the path like they were drunk. But this is the year with no winter, for sure.

1096aa84d006fe967128ffbd37e8070e

(1002)

on March 07, 2012
at 02:12 AM

Hopefully you enjoy lots of traffic!

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on March 07, 2012
at 01:18 AM

None. it is where optimal is found.

88a669ef87f8138d6bbfbdace533a482

(425)

on March 06, 2012
at 11:45 PM

It stinks the other way around too, in places where it never gets below room temperature all summer. I know someone who moved from Austin back to Chicago because she said summer here was the worst cabin fever she ever had. At least when it's cold you can dress for it. I had low Vitamin D despite living in a sunny climate. I take supplements.

193b7fb0fec8913d5ebb3b99a04d21c6

(2918)

on March 06, 2012
at 08:45 PM

Chicago this winter was like a walk in the park!

3960d381831b80ad96164f34e2ab6030

(565)

on March 06, 2012
at 07:39 PM

I really like this idea, but I am a human, not a bear, so is this hibernation-like state really going to express my genes well? I just don't know.

9af2c2c49634ea6caea14af9e1431b82

on March 06, 2012
at 05:37 PM

I know exactly how you feel. I like in Kirksville just a bit south of you, and I get the feeling that if I want a paleo sollution, it'll involve slathering animal fat on my face.

  • 3960d381831b80ad96164f34e2ab6030

    asked by

    (565)
  • Views
    2.8K
  • Last Activity
    1432D AGO
Frontpage book

Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!

16 Answers

10
4b05d725a8332e8e917a4ca58b6e8a1e

(1239)

on March 06, 2012
at 05:56 PM

After living four years in Montana, I can tell you how tempting it is to want to hibernate in the winter. The only thing that got me out of the house was the fact that I was carless and had to walk to campus each day and walk the dog three times a day. After the initial shock of stepping into -20 degree temperatures, it becomes an almost spiritual experience. The outside world is beautiful when it's frigid. You're outside moving around (weather be damned) while everyone else plops down in front of the TV for four months. You may be more comfortable huddled up inside, but you won't feel as vibrant and alive as you do when you're out there.

But dress in layers. ;)

0382fa263de4c83328dc34a56e25437f

(4238)

on March 07, 2012
at 02:46 AM

+1 for dogs. I'd never leave my house if I didn't have an active breed dog to exercise.

4
A6e2b231f69366ce825476c5a6dcfff6

(1967)

on March 07, 2012
at 11:23 AM

In the winter I: (Northern NY)

1) Sleep more. (8-10 hr compared to 6-8 in summer)

2) Make a point of getting sun when it's available. Sometimes it's only sunny when its 20 below (Vit. D pills in a pinch)

3) Eat more red meat and tubers. Things that store well.

4) Move. I have a wood stove, dog, shovel, and snowboard.

5) Make plans for spring.

4
Medium avatar

(10611)

on March 06, 2012
at 05:59 PM

My daily reenactment of hunt-and-gather is walking long distances, and I've done that in every season in the Chicago area for the last 5 years. The Prairie Path system is a big help. For winter cold I've got fur hats, balaclava, windproof overmitts, and pull-on metal studded traction slippers. For heavy raingear I've been using Helly Hansen bibs, a lightweight slicker and Muck Hoser boots.

193b7fb0fec8913d5ebb3b99a04d21c6

(2918)

on March 06, 2012
at 08:45 PM

Chicago this winter was like a walk in the park!

Medium avatar

(10611)

on March 07, 2012
at 02:26 AM

Last year I was breaking a trail through 12 inches of snow. A year before that it was so cold that the coyotes were wandering around on the path like they were drunk. But this is the year with no winter, for sure.

3
Ccacf7567273244733bc991af4ac42ed

on March 06, 2012
at 06:37 PM

Spend more time in bed. It's the primal way. While you're at it, eat less, use up that stored fat and look forward to an energised and refreshed summer.

7c9f81d68c78de1a31eab9c91c17b4b8

on March 07, 2012
at 07:40 PM

I vote for more time sleeping! Yay!

3960d381831b80ad96164f34e2ab6030

(565)

on March 06, 2012
at 07:39 PM

I really like this idea, but I am a human, not a bear, so is this hibernation-like state really going to express my genes well? I just don't know.

Ccacf7567273244733bc991af4ac42ed

(5198)

on March 07, 2012
at 08:22 PM

I'm not saying sleep for 6 months straight. But neither are our genes well-equipped to spend 6 hours awake every night after sunset. And if you're obese, well yes hibernation is the end-game.

2
0d3873eb2dd0447baf06139e75c10252

(600)

on March 06, 2012
at 09:39 PM

I'm up in Alberta so I know what you're going through. Last night we has 30 cm of snow and I just finished digging my car out. How's that for outdoor exercise?

Honestly though, the only thing that gets me happy about the outdoors is winter sports. Skiing and snowboarding are great if you have the option, but if not then get the family and friends out for some tobogganing! If you don't have a toboggan, put some rancid seed oil to use and coat the bottom of a crazy carpet or flying saucer (or a good old sheet of plastic) and let 'er rip.

Build a Grok snowman.

Of course, you have to get bundled up so not a square inch is exposed. So the benefit of the natural light (especially at this elevation) is minimal, although the fresh air is still good. To mitigate this, I go to a tanning salon with higher uvb bulbs so I am still getting my vitamin D. I used to get depressed every winter, but not anymore. Just make sure to moderate your exposure, you're not going for a 'tan' per se.

I use the cold months as a great excuse to use bone broth in everything- warm, nourishing, drink it straight! We often have the opportunity to get wild caught offal from deer, moose and elk, as well as good old canada geese since they let the hunters loose in late fall. Take advantage of the extra vitamins and minerals through the winter to boost your immunity- not getting sick is crucial to enjoying the winter.

Anyone else have tips for good living in cold weather?

Medium avatar

(10611)

on March 07, 2012
at 02:30 AM

When I visited Winnipeg, people there talked about Minneapolis winter like it was Miami.

2
A4587cfef29863db612c43f89c202cc1

on March 06, 2012
at 08:08 PM

I had an unheated garage gym in Denver, CO for about 7 years...I know, I know, Denver is where people from Iowa go when they want to warm up. But, Denver can get cold at times during the winter. I just tried to think of those cold workouts as an opportunity to toughen up. I dressed accordingly and put a little extra time into warming up. I ruined a frying pan once trying to thaw a frozen kettlebell on the stovetop.

7c9f81d68c78de1a31eab9c91c17b4b8

on September 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

Ahhhh ha ha ha. Very funny about the frozen kettle bell.

1
9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on March 07, 2012
at 08:13 PM

I used to really struggle with the cold. When I was 15 my family moved from GA to IL and I had so much trouble with always feeling cold. I would sleep under two down comforters AND an electric blanket. It was pretty miserable. That was despite being a competitive swimmer and swimming in pretty cold water regularly. My hands would turn blue sometimes during practice.

Now I'm 25 and I've lived in cold climates for quite some time, including Sweden. I don't know what happened, but I'm very well cold adapted. I will wear tights and mini-skirts unless it gets below 0. I sleep with a thin blanket. I would say it's easy enough for me to get un-cold adapted though- when I've experimented with both VLC and HC I've had issues with cold again. Why? How come the Inuit managed VLC-ish diets in the cold and I couldn't? Genetic differences and higher bodyfat certainly helped them.

I maintain my hot-bloodedness by eating enough food, eating lots of fat and a decent amount of carbs, and occasionally going to the sauna. In Sweden I learned about this. People there go to the sauna, sweat, and then go outside nude and roll around in the snow! There is a lot of evidence that this reduces inflammation and adapts your blood vessels to not constrict in the cold, which is the cause of numbness and tingling.

Also taking up a winter sport hobby can be fun and boost your adaptation. Many people enjoy skiing and snowboarding, but I think they are $$$ and just too much trouble. Showshoeing and broomball are cheaper and easier.

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on March 07, 2012
at 09:22 PM

Feeling cold on VLC seems pretty common, but it turned me into a raging inferno. If I lived in an very cold environment like the Inuit I'd try to follow a similar diet, despite the downsides that made me abandon low carb. Maybe it is a genetic thing.

1
Bf57bcbdc19d4f1728599053acd020ab

(5043)

on March 07, 2012
at 01:19 PM

I live in Switzerland and believe it or not it's warmer here in winter than it was in Baltimore - but there are long, dark stretches in the winter where it's cloud-covered and the lack of sunlight gets me seriously down. I find that making arrangements to meet up with other people to walk/run outside a few times a week really helps. As others have said, once you're out, it's very invigorating. And meeting up means you can't ditch at the last minute. And when the sun is out - no matter what temperature - I get out and soak some up.

1
2fd93e91bb14e641a2bac9c6033e84e2

(1614)

on March 07, 2012
at 12:39 AM

Personally, I do less walking around outside and more sitting around inside in the winter (northern Wisconsin). But on those bright sunny weekends and afternoons, I totally take advantage of them- stop everything and get my tush outside. Like others have said, lots of layers, smart footwear, and at least one full head covering. Lots of lotion on exposed skin.

I figure Grokette in colder climes would've sat around tying rope, making clothing or containers, quick trips in and out to gather water and kindling or other necessities, telling stories by the fire, etc. I knit and talk to my cats during the dark hours before bed. I make slowly braised meats and stews, eat lots of root veggies and kale, and keep hydrated. Vitamin D for sure. It all helps maintain a positive attitude.

If you're an active person, a membership to a nearby gym does wonders as well. :) Short intense workouts get me in and out of the gym in a hurry when I'm feeling blue or lazy (which is common November-February due to the lack of sunlight). It's hard to feel like doing much when you go to work in the dark and come home in the dark, but every little bit does help.

0382fa263de4c83328dc34a56e25437f

(4238)

on March 07, 2012
at 02:47 AM

+1 for knitting, braising, roots and kale. I have to force myself to drink water, too, that's a good point.

0
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 07, 2013
at 12:44 AM

Worst advice ever!

Anyone living in a cold place should rejoice! There are people all over the world soaking in ice baths and paying for ice treatments to spot reduce fat.

If you live in a cold place, do this: 1. Spend as much time, minimally clothed, outdoors as possible 2. Take cool showers, don't have to be cold, just like 60-70 deg 3. Drink lots of ice water 4. Eat a strict paloe diet. Go very low to zero carb in the dead of winter and add carbs in the warmer months. 5. Visit these websites: www.jackkruse.com and www.hypothermics.com

0
4164a77c7ccf4839ec7f1e665d27cc6d

(1085)

on March 07, 2012
at 08:35 PM

I realize this doesn't completely apply, but since going LC/VLC my BF% has reduced dramatically and I am cold all the time...and I live in San Diego. I don't know how those of you in cold weather climates can do it. I wouldn't be able to get out of bed in the morning.

4303a65967884e68bfae59817c227351

(1881)

on March 08, 2012
at 01:49 AM

You beat me to the post. I NEVER used to get cold in the winter. Even when it was cold. Lose a bunch of a weight, and now I know why all my skinny friends used to complain. haha.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on March 07, 2012
at 09:52 PM

Haha reminds of last month when i was in tights and miniskirt and my VLC friend was wearing snow pants. I could never be VLC again, snow pants aren't sexy enough for me.

0
7c9f81d68c78de1a31eab9c91c17b4b8

on March 07, 2012
at 07:47 PM

I always wonder about this as well. I live in Colorado and both my 6 year old and I get colds that go right to our chests. I notice cold air is very hard on me when I have a cough. Paleo has helped us both some but I run a humidifier for moisture from Fall until Spring at night, shovel the fish oil and vit. C down our throats and eat a lot of raw butter. We are outside a lot in the summer and I FEEL better. I have noticed though I did NOT enjoy the glaring sun until I went Paleo. Maybe it's the knowledge I have now about Vit. D and it's mental but even in my car I soak it up on my hour drive home.

0
65bba2aa1de77b31c373c1a390c43ca8

(423)

on March 07, 2012
at 01:40 PM

I moved up to Delaware about a year and a half ago after living in Florida my whole life (St. Pete for 12 years, then Tallahassee for 12 years). The change on my mood and whole demeanor is drastic. I'm always cold, so I'm grumpy, and never want to get out of bed. Especially in the morning, when it's SO cold! I've started going to a tanning booth at my gym, and even though I've only gone twice (and for only 5 mins each time, cause I'm so pale), I noticed a definite improvement on how I felt that day. My boyfriend and I are planning on moving back to Florida this summer, and neither one of us can wait, because we hate that we've become so inactive in the cold!

0
1bbcd2122d9c75b07440f22ef57d6448

(2934)

on March 06, 2012
at 11:15 PM

Connecticut may not seem frigid, but 4 months of cold still gets to you. I find I have a great deal more energy when I work out regularly -- no matter how cold it is, a good hour or so of weights perks me right up.

4303a65967884e68bfae59817c227351

(1881)

on March 08, 2012
at 01:54 AM

Also being from CT, it definitely gets "colder" here than a lot of places. Although today and tomorrow may not be the best proof of that. I never used to be cold until I went paleo. Lost some weight, and now I know what all the thin people used to complain about.

0
C0fcb48d7da4f76fac17318efd2cd6b8

on March 06, 2012
at 09:10 PM

Personally, I'm looking to find a way to move to So. Cal.- sick of rain! Need sun!

1096aa84d006fe967128ffbd37e8070e

(1002)

on March 07, 2012
at 02:12 AM

Hopefully you enjoy lots of traffic!

Answer Question


Get FREE instant access to our
Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!