Low Fat Raw Headaches?

Hi everyone. I have a question and am in need of some advice. I have been raw for 4 months, high raw for 2. In the past week I have been trying to follow the guidelines of Dr. Graham’s 80/10/10 low fat approach to eating raw. I feel much lighter and it makes sense to me logically, but for the past 4 nights I have been getting awful headaches every night. Evening is generally a time when I intake less food. Could it be I am not getting in enough calories? Could it be detox? Has anyone else experienced something similar? My boyfriend is pressuring me to take painkillers. I want to stick it out, but is sure does hurt.


  • I sometimes get headaches when I eat a large quantity of sweet juicy fruit such as watermelon or grapes. I often eat without doing any activities. If I do some activities before eating I will not get the headaches. You might also want to make sure you get enough greens. I used to eat too few, now I eat at least 1 pound of greens a day and I feel much better. Taking pain medicine is not a good idea, you will just be going backwards, all the work you have done to get clean will be negated. It’s your call though. I hope this helps.

  • Hi Jules, I get killer headaches if I do not eat enough. Maybe you are eating too little in the evening. Test yourself..next time you get one of those headaches…eat something and see if the headache goes away. Good Luck

  • ZoeZoe

    I often wonder why people try a restricted take/method of raw food eating without being 100% for a long enough time to fully detox, re awaken their intuitive eating urges, and just basically balance out on it.

    Each to their own I guess, I know everyone is different and has their own path, and I respect that. But I want to give my own my personal opinion on this subject. Why not just focus on being successfully 100% raw, go through detox, and then worry about percentage this or that.

    Most 100% raw food eaters find that the recipes are transition food only, and once they have been through detox they are naturally drawn to eat more simply, and more often than not, lower in fat anyway…

    I was raw for 1 1/2 years eating things I didn’t know were not raw etc, and steadily refining my food to truly 100% and going through detox. I ate loads of recipes and made tons of delicious varied food.

    But now after 2 years raw and about 6 months truly totally purely 100% raw, I naturally and instinctively eat simple, fresh non recipe stuff all the time, I don’t want the high fat, dehydrated, complex food, it just doesn’t do it for me any more. And if I sat and worked out the percentage of fat etc it is close to 80-10-10, but probably with more than 10% greens.

    Eating recipes – aka transition food didn’t hurt me at all, it healed me, and now I still eat whatever I want, it just happens to be simpler stuff, as many many other raw foodists also have discovered. Also, if I was just eating bananas and a head of leuttice, apart from not being able to stick to being raw, I am certain that my friends and family would have worried themselves to death thinking I had an eating disorder! It is so comforting to friends and family to have me make those recipes and share them with them when they visit. The deliciousness and variety of the recipes I have made has also turned some of my meat and potatoe friends into vegans.

    Transition food is very, very helpful. Not everyone can make the leap from SAD or cooked eating, straight into mono eating or 80-10-10. A slow natural progression seems to happen anyway, why put restrictions on yourself. Life is a celebration, food is pleasure, not punishment.

  • Well said Zoe, I whole heartedly agree. You could not have said it better!

  • joescjoesc Raw Master

    I agree with spiritedmama. Nice response Zoe!

  • Zoe, thanks for your thoughts. It´s funy you should mention it because a lot of the reason why I have been trying to stay on a low fat raw diet comes from what you and Chris had to say about eating things that are not truly raw even though they are marked as such. I live in Chile where there are no health food stores. I cannot get things like nut butters or raw oils. Even the nuts that I find here let off dyes and colors when I soak them. What I can find here however, are good fresh fuits and vegetables. In order for me to eat raw here, I have to stick with mostly fruits and vegetables, and mostly low fat. I don´t see another way to do it aside from piling on the avocado. Something I am a bit confused about is what you mentioned about allowing myself to detox. I have been under the impression that eating heavy foods such as seed pates or avocados slows down the detox process. I would like to encourage the detox process as I am in a place in my life now where my responsibilites are low. I have the time and space to take care of myself through any detox symptoms I might experience. I would like to get this out of the way sooner rather than later. Is this an unrealistic expectation? I know that I will probably experience detox sympotms on and off for years, but how long would you say that I should expect my initial detox period to last? 6 months? A year? When would it be ok for me to move to a more low fat diet? Again, thanks for sharing your advice and opnion on this.

  • ZoeZoe

    Hi guys thanks for your comments on my last post, I appreciate them.

    Juleskess, Just to be clear, I’m not saying people should eat a high fat raw food diet, just that I don’t feel people who are 100% truly raw, should restrict themselves, or fuss with their eating, any further, until they have experienced 100% raw for a while.

    If all you can get in Chile is fruits and vegetables then I guess that is what you are going to eat. Just eat whatever you desire as long as it is truly raw. Let your body’s desires guide you to what you eat, again, as long as it is raw. Enjoy it and have fun with it.

    For me, raw food isn’t about percentages and restrictions, it is about celebrating, enjoying and feeling pleasure. Aswell as being sensual and decadent, it has healed me.

    In my experience the initial detox lasts about 2-3 months. Detoxing can last 3-6 years, but I am talking here about the first part, when you get to the stage of not craving cooked food anymore. Getting over that first hump, and everything starts working properly, and feeling better.

    Then for the next 3-12 months of the detox, you will have eliminated enough crap from your colon and intestines to be able to assimilate much, much more nutrients from your food, and you’ll naturally, instinctively want more simpler stuff and recipes won’t be so attractive. Over this next stage you’ll have more energy and not have dips n your energy levels. Feeling like sleeping is normally associated with the first 2-3 months, super energy comes next.

    In my experience avocados, truly raw olive oil, seeds etc do not slow down the detox. Cooked food is the only thng which slowed down my detox. In fact I used it to slow it down when it got too much for me.

    I don’t think you are unrealistic in thinking you can get through your first bit of detox in the next couple of months, if you just eat raw food, I cannot see why not. Exercise especially yoga helps, as it improves circulation, elimination and detoxification.

    Personally, I don’t think raw food eating is something one should make complex descions about other than the initial one to eat only raw food…what you eat day to day is up to your tastes, instinct, desires, and how your body feels. Trust yourself. Trust your body. Trust raw food.

  • A good article to read by Robin Jones is here: Raw, Vegan and Vegetarian Lifestyles

    Some may not agree with him but others may find it interesting.

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