Dec 20, 2019 10:05AM Claire_in_Seattle wrote:
I want to weigh in on the "growing up in cold places" question. Northern Vermont qualifies as having cold, often bitter, winters and I was born during a cold snap when it was -20F. I exercise outside winter and summer, though it's obviously a lot milder here in the Seattle area. 3 of the 4 miles I walked yesterday were in the dark and chilly pelting rain. I love to ski in the winter, mostly Nordic.
We had a dairy farm and raised vegetables which my mother froze for the winter. I still do this with squash as impossible to get good winter squash unless you do the deed yourself. Now, we are blessed with root vegetables which are particularly wonderful in the Pacific Northwest. The old farmhouses in Vermont had root cellars, and I suspect that everyone got quite sick of the like of onions, turnips, carrots, and cabbages by spring. I know that dandelion greens were welcome as were ramps. (I believe that fasting and dietary restrictions during Lent and Passover are related to the need to preserve enough seeds to ensure a good harvest for the following autumn.)
I think historically that the big change in diet came about 150 years ago when it became possible to ship produce, meat, dairy, and grain by rail. This meant that you weren't limited to what you could raise locally, and had access to citrus during the winter. Canning items such as tomatoes was another huge innovation. Frozen vegetables came about 75 years later.
As for exercise in cold weather, I just love being outside in the winter. I just don't understand those who say "It's too cold out or it's raining". I don't like getting soaked to the skin, but come to no harm when I do. I have warm clothing for skiing. In fact, when you are skiing, the danger is getting hypothermic from working up a sweat, and then cooling down rapidly once the exertion is over.
I do draw the line at ice as landing on it is no fun. But even then, I put on my lug-soled hiking boots and take my ski poles. So very seldom do I fail to get outdoors. I remember my mother once saying "no walk" to her dog when she was in her 70s. It was -29F out. But we did walk a mile down the road to see the Great Snowy Owl. It was something like -12F at the time.
It's all a question of perspective.
On another topic, my Christmas break project is learning to use my new soup maker to up the nutrition content of my lunches via delicious soups such as spinach, tomato, parsnip, squash, leek and potato. We shall see how that one goes. But healthier and cheaper than buying lunches outside. - Claire